A number of reports have been produced on Goa, examining a variety of aspects. Quite a large number have been commissioned by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. Another set of reports point out the various illegalities in mining, including environmental aspects. A third set looks at economic aspects relating to mining.
- SC Expert Committee on a Cap (ECOC) – Intergenerational Equity
- SC Monitoring Committee on e-auctions
- Shah Commission of Inquiry into large scale illegal mining
- Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court
- Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Goa Legislative Assembly
- Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the MoEF
- CEE / Gadgil Report on mining environment clearances
- Goa REIA & REMP by Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad
- Goa Survey Report by ERC India
- Regional plan for Goa (RPG) – 2021
- Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP)
- High Level Working Group (HLWG) on the Western Ghats
- Karnataka Lokayukta
- NCAER report on mining in Goa
- Other Reports
1. SC Expert Committee on a Cap (ECOC) – Intergenerational Equity
The Shah Commission had raised the issue of the rapid exhaustion of the ore, leaving nothing for future generations. The Goa mining case had also raised the issue of widespread environmental degradation. The Supreme Court appointed a 6 member Expert Committee on a Cap on mining on grounds of intergenerational equity and sustainable development. The 2nd interim report recommended an interim cap of 20 mtpa, and a Permanent Fund on grounds of weak sustainability. These recommendations found their way into the final judgement of the Supreme Court.
In line with the judgement, the ECOC submitted its report on mining dumps, and later its final report on the cap. The final report recommends a cap of 30 mtpa on both grounds, i.e., stretching out the opportunity to mine as well as limited the environmental damage. The final report also examines the MMDR amendment in 2015 introducing the District Mineral Foundation, and concludes that the Permanent Fund would still be required, and in fact recommends its expansion across the nation.
The 2nd Interim Report of the 6-member Expert Committee on Intergenerational Equity appointed by the Supreme Court. The ECOC submitted the report on 25th March, 2014.
The report of the ECOC on how dumps should be looked at was submitted on 14th October, 2014.
The final report on the caps and the Permanent Fund was submitted on 12th April, 2015. Higher caps have been recommended. Despite the new District Mineral Foundation (DMF), the ECOC recommends the Permanent Fund be expanded across India.
Two submissions were made by Goa Foundation to the ECOC
2. SC Monitoring Committee on e-auctions
The Supreme Court set up a monitoring committee for first inventory ore around Goa, and then proceeded to ask for an auction of the ore under the supervision of the Monitoring Committee. The Goa government managed not to auction half the ore during the first year term of the Monitoring Committee. It has simply assumed that the committee has ceased to function, and has not provided any funding, making it a reality.
The interim report of the 3-member Monitoring Committee on E-Auction of Ore, appointed by the Supreme Court during the hearing of the petition
The final report of the 3-member Monitoring Committee on E-Auction of Ore, appointed by the Supreme Court during the hearing of the petition.
3. Shah Commission of Inquiry into large scale illegal mining
Following the report of the Karnataka Lokayukta and many complaints about illegal iron one mining from across the country, the Union Ministry of Mines set up a Commission of Inquiry, headed by Retd. Supreme Court Justice M.B. Shah. The Shah Commission was asked to examine whether various forms of illegality were taking place, how much was lost, why it was taking place and to suggest remedial measures. The Shah Commission submitted reports on Goa, Odisha and Jharkhand. The report on Odisha triggered its own public interest litigation, Common Cause vs Union of India & ors (writ petition (civil) 114 of 2014).
The Shah Commission report on Goa, (Part I & II) and Part III, was tabled in Parliament on 7th September, 2012.
The third report of the Shah Commission on Goa was submitted in October 2013.
4. Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court
During the Goa mining case, the Supreme Court asked the CEC to examine the allegations of the Shah Commission.
The Chief Secretary, Goa government, made a detailed written representation to the Central Empowered Committee.
The Central Empowered Committee visited Goa, conducted a public hearing with stakeholders including petitioner and thereafter filed its report in 5 volumes on 7.12.2012
Copy of the written submissions made by the CEC during the hearings.
5. Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Goa Legislative Assembly
The ruling government during the 2007-2012 period was the Congress. Manohar Parrikar of the BJP was the Leader of the Opposition, and hence also the chairman of the PAC. When the report was being submitted in the monsoon session of 2011, a number of members of the PAC refused to sign the report. The report was also not accepted by the speaker. However, a copy was leaked. In 2012, the BJP was elected to power. The PAC Report was now taken on record by the speaker. However, it seems that the library at the legislative assembly does not have a copy, nor is available under RTI.
6. Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the MoEF
After the Shah Commission report on Goa became public, the MoEF immediately suspended all its ECs for Goa iron ore mining. It appointed an EAC under the chairmanship of Vishwanath Anand. The findings were so devastating that during the hearings for the Goa mining case, the MoEF only permitted a summary to be made public. Subsequently, Goa Foundation filed a RTI request. After receiving an order from the CIC to hand over the report, the MoEF actually tried to classify the document as secret. Better sense prevailed, and the report was eventually provided. No action taken report has been filed though. Has action been taken?
Principal findings of the Vishwanath Anand Expert Appraisal Committee.
Main report of the Vishwanath Anand Expert Appraisal Committee.
7. CEE / Gadgil Report on mining environment clearances
The Goa government, in celebration of the golden jubilee for Goa in 2011, set up the Goa Golden Jubilee Development Council under Dr. R. Mashelkar and tasked them with developing a Vision for Goa in 2035. The Environment & Sustainable Development portion was headed by Dr. Madhav Gadgil. During the extensive public consultations, repeated questions were raised about the quality of EIAs (Environmental Impact Assessments) and compliance with ECs (Environmental Clearances) by the mining sector. The Centre for Environment Education, MoEF conducted a “Research project on assessing quality of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), compliance of Environmental Clearance (EC) conditions and adequacy of Environmental Management Plan (EMP) of mining industry in Goa”. The report was devastating for the mining industry. The Goa government refused to accept the report on a technicality. It is presently not available under RTI.
8. Goa REIA & REMP by Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad
The MoEF appointed ISM, Dhanbad to conduct a Regional Environmental Impact Assessment (REIA) and Regional Environmental Management Plan (REMP) for the mining belt of Goa. Primary data collection commenced with mining in full operation, and continued for about a year after the stoppage of mining. Data was collected on air quality, noise, water quality, land environment, soil environment, biological environment and socioeconomic environment. It is probably the only report that gives a before-after picture of the environment. One key recommendation was a cap on mining due to transport issues of 25 mtpa. It has not been released by the MoEF, but was submitted to the Supreme Court in a very poor quality xerox. However, a useful spinoff is that the lead author has published a number of articles in various academic journals.
9. Goa Survey Report by ERC India
The Environment Resource Center published a study on the impact of the stoppage of mining. It was released on 18th November, 2013. Mining stopped on 10th September, 2012.
10. Regional plan for Goa (RPG) – 2021
The regional plan 2011 faced widespread protests and had to be withdrawn. In the process, a Task Force for RGP-2021 was set up. It submitted its Draft Regional Plan for Goa 2021 for public consultation. Among other aspects, Section 3.6 (pages 61-69) discusses mining and makes many important recommendations. The Final RPG-2021 was notified in phases. There was widespread unhappiness with the final RPG-2021. The BJP government upon taking office in 2012 “suspended” the RPG-2021. The present legal status is uncertain.
11. Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP)
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) constituted the WGEEP under the chairmanship of Dr. Madhav Gadgil. After widespread consultations, the WGEEP submitted its report (commonly called the “Gadgil Committee Report”) on 31st August, 2011. At the core of the report was the requirement for local level consultation to determine the ecological value of different areas. It caused widespread anxiety among states that “development” would be hampered.
12. High Level Working Group (HLWG) on the Western Ghats
Following the WGEEP, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) constituted the HLWG under the chairmanship of Dr. K. Kasturirangan (hence, the “Kasturirangan Report”) to examine the WGEEP report. Instead, the HLWG did its own analysis de novo, using remote sensing techniques, with minimal public consultation. The ecological sensitivity of areas were determined from the sky. The area potentially ecologically sensitive was reduced dramatically. This still caused widespread anxiety among states that “development” would be hampered.
13. Karnataka Lokayukta
The report of the Karnataka Lokayukta was a watershed for mining in India. The report shows in minute detail the incredible variety of illegal practices surrounding iron ore mining in Karnataka. Part 1 of the report was submitted on 18th December 2008. Part 2 of the report was submitted 27th July 2011. Part 2 runs into over 25,000 pages (not available in scanned version). Just the summary is 464 pages.
A landmark public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court based partly on the Lokayukta report. This was Samaj Parivartan Samudaya & ors vs State of Karnataka & ors (writ petition (civil) 562 of 2009), commonly called the Bellary mining case. The Central Empowered Committee confirmed widespread illegalities. Significantly, the judgement includes an R&R plan, for which 10% of the value of iron ore would be deposited in a fund.
14. NCAER report on mining in Goa
The Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA) commissioned the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) to study the contribution of the Goan iron ore mining industry. The report was issued in December 2010, and not surprisingly, found mining the next best thing to sliced bread. Subsequently, 2 papers severely critiquing the report were published in the Economic & Political Weekly (EPW). The lead author of the report wrote a rejoinder also in the EPW. A fourth article responding to the rejoinder was published by EPW. This article ended with a call for “NCAER to (a) immediately withdraw this report and apologise to the citizens of Goa, (b) investigate the root causes of the failure, (c) scrutinise other recent reports that may have been affected by similar issues and concerns, and publicly report the ﬁndings of the investigation, and (d) put in place mechanisms to prevent this massive governance failure, including a proper code of ethics encompassing full disclosure of conﬂicts of interest and placing assumptions, data and calculations in the public domain.”
15. Other Reports
· Forthcoming : Mining Closure, Economic Disruption & Local Level Sustainability; A Case Study of Goa, India
Study being led by Dr. Ashwini Mishra of BITS Pilani Goa. The 2 year long study was commissioned by ICSSR (Indian Council for Social Science Research) and began in October 2014.
PhD thesis, University of Mysore – S.T. Puttaraju, also Chief Town Planner of Goa, using Regional Plan data
Thesis for a degree in environmental sciences – Xavier Llavina Pascual, Miriam Pablos Cascallar, Mireia Planell i Calle, Eloi Puigdollers Rodés, Clara Solé Carbonell & Aida Vila i Casau, Autonomous University of Barcelona
· Goa’s iron ore exports: an empirical investigation into growth, contribution and competitiveness – June 2008
PhD thesis – Manasvi Manoj Kamat, Goa University