Goa: Flying squads formed to check illegal excavation and quarrying

The Department of Mines and Geology in Goa has constituted Taluka wise flying squads under Mamlatdar of respective talukas to control illegal and unauthorized excavation and quarrying in the state following directions by the Bombay High Court.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday had instructed officials for strict vigil on illegal sand mining activities, following an incident of killing of sand extraction worker from Jharkhand in a firing on August 31 at Curchorem in South Goa.

On August 31, one sand extraction worker from Jharkhand was killed while another critically injured in a firing incident at Curchorem in South Goa. Yusuf Alam, 23, and Mohammed Sahu, 33, were brought to a health centre after the incident. Alam was declared dead, while Sahu was shifted to Goa Medical College for treatment as he was in critical condition.

According to the Mines department, complaints received by any department or offices pertaining to illegal quarrying shall be referred to the respective flying squads.

“FIR shall be filed against the persons found carrying illegal extraction or transportation and the respective landowners. The machinery, equipment and vehicles used in extraction and transportation shall be seized and kept in the custody of the Police Department,” Mines department said.

It also informed that the district level 24×7 helpline set up for sand extraction complaints shall also be extended for receiving complaints of illegal quarrying.

“Chief Minister has directed that necessary steps are to be taken to start sand mining through traditional extractors on an urgent basis. The Mines Department has been directed to process all the pending applications pertaining to minor minerals on priority,” Chief Ministers Office had informed on Monday.

“Mines department has also been directed to put in place a proper online transit pass system for transportation of sand or other minor minerals from neighbouring states,” it further said.

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