PANJIM: The Directorate of Mines and Geology has made it mandatory for barges operating in Goa's waters to install an Automatic Identification System (AIS) and a Vehicle Tracking System (VTS). The measures are aimed at curbing the illegal transportation of iron-ore on these barges.
No barges will be allowed to transport mineral
ore, if AIS and VTS are not installed onboard, before registration with the Directorate.
In a letter to the Goa Barge Owners Association (GBOA), the Directorate has said that it desires to track movement of mineral ore till its loading onto vessels before export. “Hence, the installation of AIS and VTS will facilitate the Directorate to track the barge movement in inland waterways till its final destination,” the letter signed by Director Mines Prasanna Acharya, reads.
Acharya has said that since the new mining season is about to begin (in September), it is important to regulate the transportation of ore so as to maintain a proper account of ore for computation of royalty and other dues payable to the government.
The barge owners have already being directed to register themselves with DMG by August 27, failing which they would not be allowed to ferry ore. They have also been cautioned not to carry illegally extracted ore.
The Mines department since August 15, has been strictly implementing rules to regulate mining activity in the State, which includes fine of Rs 5 lakh for overloading of trucks.
As per the new regulations, the mine owners will lose their license to operate, if the trucks employed by them violate the law 25 times. At the same time a heavy fine of Rs 5 lakh would be imposed if truck is found overloading the ore.