Huge pits dug to extract laterite stones at sports city site
PANJIM: The investigation into the illegal quarrying activity at the site for the sports city, at Dhargalim has opened a Pandora’s box for the Mines and Geology Department, which has stumbled upon several huge pits dug up to extract laterite stones.
Pernem police on Monday had raided the site, acquired by the State government for ambitious the sports city following directions from Mines and Geology Department, which suspected illegal extraction of laterite stones at the site. Police have already arrested one Girish Sawant, and remanded him to two days police custody for his alleged involvement in the activity.
The department, which had inspected the site soon after the raid, found that there are more than 10 pits, admeasuring around 2,000 square metres each, where laterite stones were being extracted.
A total 13 lakh square metres of land at Dhargalim was acquired for the national games 2013 in 2009, but which has continued to remain unused till date.
Assistant Director Mines Raju Gawas informed reporters that currently the department has inspected only one pit of 2500 square meters through the global positioning system (GPS). Rest of the pits, which are scattered on the entire site, are yet to be inspected he said.
“It’s a massive extraction. The entire site has been marked with number of pits. Illegal laterite stones extraction activity was going on for some time at this site,” Gawas said.
The department, which acted on complaints from locals, has decided to survey the entire area with the GPS so that the exact amount of illegal activity in this area can be mapped.
“The freshly extracted laterite stone pit was surveyed. However, the other pits in the adjourning areas need to be surveyed on top priority along with representatives of the Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs,” the inspection report reads.