MINING FIRMS PULL A FAST ONE ON SONSHI
A study carried out by the Goa State Pollution Control Board on air quality at the mining hub of Sonshi in Sattari taluka since May 2 has found that the air quality measurement equipment installed by the mining companies in the village were manipulated, as a result the air quality has been shown far below the permissible level.
A report presented by ten mining companies to the board on Monday shows falsely recorded air quality standard below the safe level; within 20-30 microgram per cubic metre (mpcm).
According to the GSPCB data on ambient air quality, the respirable particulate matter (RPM or PM10), which directly affects breathing, has gone up by over seven to eight times at Sonshi from the national ambiance air quality standard of 100 mpcm.
Ambient air quality monitoring stations measure real time and peak concentration levels of dangerous pollutants in air.
Interestingly, six to seven air quality monitoring stations installed by the mine owners have recorded fake air quality readings through manipulation of the machines.
Thirteen mine leases had been given consent to operate by the board, and of which only 10 operated.
Despite the suspension of mining activities by the board at Sonshi from April 28, the mining companies have repeatedly defied the board order and continued with their operations.
However, it was found that for two days – April 30 and May 1 – mining had been completely halted by the mine owners.
And from May 7 a major mining company still continued with its operations till May 13 making around 3800 trips of mining trucks.
The High Court of Bombay at Goa had also said that there should be no mining-related vehicular traffic on Sonshi’s roads till the show-cause notices issued by the GSPCB are decided upon.