Sanctuary halts ore handling pending approval from Wildlife Warden

Following a legal challenge by the Goa Foundation (GF) regarding ore handling at Kalay railway station within the Bhagwan Mahaveer wildlife sanctuary, the station master and South Western Railway have agreed that no ore handling activities will occur at the station until they receive permission from the chief wildlife warden, Goa.

The station master clarified that only the remaining 2,025 metric tonnes of ore will be transported to the Ardem jetty. They, along with transporters, committed to applying for permission under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 within a week.

Senior advocate S Kantak, representing M/s Dessai logistics, mentioned applying to the state chief wildlife warden for ore transportation to the jetty. The High Court is maintaining an open stance on all arguments, and the chief warden has pledged to address the applications within four weeks of filing.

The Goa Foundation’s public interest litigation (PIL) emphasised the disturbance and damage caused by unloading/loading activities to the sanctuary’s vegetation and wildlife, citing issues with mining trucks in the area.

GF pointed out that unauthorised ore transportation without clearance from the chief wildlife warden, under the Wildlife Protection Act, is affecting wildlife, leading animals like bison and leopards to venture into public areas, including roads where mining trucks operate without adhering to regulations. Overloaded and uncovered trucks are also causing nuisances for local residents.


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