Goa’s Mines Bleed Its Environment Dry

Unmonitored mining has boomed in Goa in recent years and has had dire effects on the environment. The Goa mining industry is thriving, but its impact on nature and the local population is disastrous. 8% of the state surface is already being mined, mostly to extract iron ore that is exported to China. Over 825 mining sites exist throughout the state, and a large number of projects have been given government’s clearance. The very large scale and intensive nature of  mining exploitation is a serious challenge to Goa's fragile ecosystem. Indeed, 90 % of Goa’s mining leases are within notified wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests. Large areas of fertile agricultural lands have also been diverted for mining. Huge quantities of mining particles are deposited in rivers, contaminating water sources. Devidas Gaonkar, our Community Correspondent in Goa, has been personally affected by the issue. Belonging to a tribal community, he has witnessed how mining exploitation has encroached on natural resources that are so crucial to sustain life in Goa. His village has been flooded recently because of this excessive mining in the area. In his video, Devidas gives us a powerful and articulate description on how mining is impacting the environment.  Deforestation due to mining activity is causing soil erosion and siltation, increasing the risk of flooding and impacting ground water, potentially causing water shortage. With his video, Devidas is adding his voice to the chorus of activists who incessantly warn the government against the risk of excessive mining exploitation. Numerous common people like Devidas have also been courageously protesting mining in the streets and blocking vehicles passing through their villages. Devidas wishes his video to similarly raise awareness, with the hope that the government will soon put a halt to large-scale unmonitored mining, which is proving fatal for Goa's vegetation, water and biodiversity.
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