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SC ban on ‘voracious’ mining saved Goa: CM

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Panaji: The Supreme Court ban on the “voracious” iron ore mining in Goa may have saved the state from ecological peril, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has said.

goamining--621x414 At a book release function in the state capital late Friday, Parsekar said though mining was necessary to fuel the state’s economy, it was also necessary to simultaneously maintain an ecological balance.

“It is time we introspect and plan for future. About two and a half years ago, the Supreme Court was compelled to intervene, because we were too voracious without understanding the ecological balance,” the chief minister said.

“Mining activity had increased to such an extent that if it was to continue, probably in a decade, I don’t know what would have been the state of Goa,” he added.

Mining in Goa was banned by the Supreme Court in 2012 after a judicial commission exposed a Rs.35, 000 crore illegal mining scam, blaming a nexus of Goa’s mining companies, politicians and bureaucrats.

In 2010-11, nearly 54 million tonnes of iron ore was exported from Goa, out of which nearly a third was estimated as illegally mined iron ore.

Goa at that time contributed to nearly 21 percent of India’s total iron ore production.

After nearly three years of the ban, the Goa government is now gearing up for resumption of mining, but Parsekar says that there is need for caution.

“Of course as a head of the state, I do have consideration for mining… it helps economy… We need to keep in mind the ecological balance while we are involved in the development,” he said.

“We need to take care of nature. We need not be too greedy as regards mining. As a government, we are for restarting of mining, but that has to be controlled mining. It has to be in line with nature. We have to maintain the balance therein,” he added. (IANS)

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Britain To Ban Sale Of Plastic Straws In Bid To Fight Waste

Britain planning to ban the sale of Plastic products

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An alternative for plastic straws.
Stainless steel straws are displayed at the cooperative Sin Plastico (Without Plastic), which offers environmentally friendly household items free from plastic materials and packaging, in Bilbao, Spain, April 6, 2018. Britain plans to ban the sale of plastic straws and other single-use items. VOA

Britain plans to ban the sale of plastic straws and other single-use products and is pressing Commonwealth allies to also take action to tackle marine waste, the office of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May said.

It said drink stirrers and cotton buds would also be banned under the plans.

May has pledged to eradicate avoidable plastic waste by 2042 as part of a “national plan of action.”

“Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world, which is why protecting the marine environment is central to our agenda at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting,” May said in a statement ahead of a Commonwealth summit Thursday.

A woman drinking from plastic straw
A woman drinks from a paper cup through a plastic straw on Westminster

Leaders from the Commonwealth — a network of 53 countries, mostly former British colonies — are meeting in London this week.

May is looking to deepen ties to the Commonwealth as Britain seeks to boost trade and carve out a new role in the world ahead of the country’s departure from the European Union in March next year.

Britain will commit 61.4 million pounds ($87.21 million) at the summit to develop new ways of tackling plastic waste and help Commonwealth countries limit how much plastic ends up in the ocean.

“We are rallying Commonwealth countries to join us in the fight against marine plastic,” May said.

Also Read: Plastic-Eating Enzyme Accidentally Developed By Scientists

“Together we can effect real change so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is healthier than we currently find it.”

The statement said environment minister Michael Gove would launch a consultation later this year into the plan to ban the plastic items. It gave no details who the consultation would be with.  VOA

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