With Mining company ex-Environmental cum Public Relations officer as the Chairman of the Goa State Pollution Control Board in the form of Mahesh Patil (https://goaspcb.gov.in/constitution-of-board/) the autonomous institution has been drastically reduced in their capacity to deal with conduct of public hearing in suitable and efficient manner. At Sarvan on 11 August 2023 Public Hearing norms were flung to the winds. At the end of the Public Hearing minutes were to be prepared and shared. It was not done till 1.30 am on 12 August 2023. Notes taking capacity was in total mess. People had no idea as to whose names are omitted and whose names are included. Entire staff of GSPCB looked in total disarray. It looked that space given to the staff of London based Anil Agarwal's company Vedanta Limited staff on the stage were controlling the strings behind the scene behind the installed black curtain on the stage.
Minutes of the Public Hearing was declared by the North Goa Collector will be put out on the website in two days time. Finally today it is online after five days at https://goaspcb.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/MINUTES.pdf. One look revealed that the entire page 12 is missing. Names of speakers and their contribution from serial no 33 to 35 has vanished. There has been careful deletion of contents and names of the speakers too. Nilesh Karbatkar from Mayem who is the Union leader of the Sesa Goa mining corporation has been marked absent "not present" at serial number 153 even though he not only was present and also spoke critically about Vedanta. Noted voice critical about mining in Goa Ramesh Gauns saw that his speech recorded at the minutes is nothing short of butchery at serial no.124.
There is no hope for improvement. Crisis that has set in has taken chronic proportions. As long as Vedanta has its ex-employees as the Chairman of GSPCB nothing really expected to change. As this is the first Public Hearing of the Auctioned iron ore mines things have become clearer than ever: mining industry has taken firm grip over the GSPCB and butchery in noting of minutes and writings of minutes will be sharpened as the days goes on, maturity of butchers increase.
A new league of money games has just become visible!