Tribals from Caurem village (GOA) approach High Court for relief to save their sacred mountain against mining
A PIL Writ petition has been filed in the High Court of Bombay at Goa Bench yesterday on 05.04.2023 on the proposed mine ZAMBLIDADGA DONGOR IRON AND MANGANESE ORE MINE (M.L. No.3/FeMn/79) at Sy.No. 19/0 of Caurem village. The petitioners are Gakuved Federation and 9 other petitioners from Caurem village. The tribal villagers of Caurem had earlier written to the Gakuved federation to provide them legal assistance in opposing the above mentioned mine and had recently passed an unanimous resolution opposing the diversion of forest land for mining or any other industrial purpose at Sy.No. 19 of Caurem village, in the Gram-sabha of V.P Caurem – Pirla held on 02.04.2023. The tribal forest dwellers have their cultivation on the mountain at Sy.No. 19/0 and are also engaged in collecting minor forest produce. The said mountain is an ecological hotspot and is known for its biodiversity and wildlife. The said mountain also has a religious importance and the springs that originate from the bottom of the mountain fulfills the drinking as well as irrigation water needs of the village. There are a total 149 individual claims and one community resource rights (CFR) claim filed on this mountain under FRA, which are due for settlement.
The relief sought from the High Court is as follows:
- Directions to expedite the process of settlement of the forest rights claim of the villagers of Caurem in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Forest Rights Act,2006.
- Not to process the applications for Environmental Clearance submitted by the mining lessee for mining of minerals in Sy. no. 19/0 Caurem village, Quepem taluka until the forest rights claim of the villagers of Caurem are settled.
- Interim relief restraining from proceeding with the Public Hearing scheduled on 11 April 2023 with regards to the application for prior Environmental Clearance submitted by the mining lessee.
The respondents are as follow:
- State of Goa,Through the Chief Secretary of Goa
- Directorate of Mines and Geology
- The Goa State Environment Impact Assessment Authority
- The Chief Conservator of Forests, Goa
- The Collector & District Magistrate, South Goa
- The Deputy Collector & S.D.O
- The Village Panchayat of Caurem
- Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
- Ministry of Tribal Affairs
- Goa State Pollution Control Board
- Smt. Pradnya Zoivant Poi Cano alias Pradnya Zoivant Pai Cano (Lessee)