Goa, going, gone – A film by Carmen Miranda on Goa’s mining

The film comes up with startling facts on the impact of mining in Goa.

Goa, going, gone – A film by Carmen Miranda on Goa’s mining

As you may have assumed from its title, “Goa, going gone” is about Goa - - or more specifically, it’s about the environmental impact that is likely to result from the rampant mining that is underway in the state. Goa is being dug out of existence and gigantic craters expand across a 95 km long mining belt.

The film asks if the land, rivers, roads and people can cope this dangerous activity in times of climate change when we should be protecting forests & fertile land, preparing for droughts, famines & supporting a growing population and protecting our dwindling water resources for the future generations. This credible advocacy documentary fascinates and is worth watching for its stunning pictures and amazing background score.

The film comes up with startling facts on how nearly three-fourth of the million trees have been cut in the past four years in the state. Deforestation is rampant and mining leases have been issued in sanctuaries and reserved forests. Goa with only 0.1 per cent of the country’s territory has 46 per cent of the iron ore mining leases granted, the highest number in the country. Goa has been granted 359 of the 769 mining leases for iron ore that have been issued in the country.

According to the Indian Bureau of Mines, Goa has 25877.4 ha of land under mining leases that comprises 8.44 per cent of the territory. Mining is leading to fertile paddy fields becoming silted and abandoned. Rivers are becoming brown muddy soups of heavy metals.

Some of these points are also corroborated by a report submitted by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur in March 2009 to the Goa Bench of Bombay High Court, Panaji. The investigation report was prepared by the former after being directed to do so by the Honourable High Court on the Public Interest Litigation of Sirgaon villagers (PIL No. 1/2008, dated 16th June 2008).

The report states that in Sirigaon village (Bicholim Taluka) in the North Goa District, the topography has been altered significantly due to the open cast mining activity. The topographic highs which were present earlier have now been removed during the mining activity and large depressions have been created in the form of mine pits.

The deepening of the mines has led to loss of recharge area for the dug wells seated at the foot hills of the plateau. Hence, the water scarcity in the village dug wells is attributed to the loss of recharge area as well as the deepening of the mine.

The soil analysis results indicate that the silt deposition from the mining overburdens has degraded the soil fertility in the agricultural fields of Sirigaon village. Proper slope stabilization needs to be carried out in the mining areas to minimize runoff of the overburden dump material to the nearby agricultural fields.

The absence of narration in the documentary does not act as a spoiler to guide your experience and does not lessen the impact of the film. The campaign film produced by Carmen Miranda on Goa's mining will be shown in October 2011 at the Goa Global Convention in London. The filmmakers urge you to join the campaign by visiting www.savegoacampaign@org.uk.



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