Goa Mining People’s Front asks govt to restart mining in Goa

KOLKATA: Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF), representing the state’s mining industry has appealed to the state government and the Centre for recommencement of mining activities in the state by the end of the month.

The Goa CM had earlier given assurance on resumption of mining by end of December 2019. In a statement issued on Thursday, GMPF said its members are apprehensive about resumption of mining activity and whether the December-end timeline will be met by the authorities. GMPF said its demands include a financial package for all mining dependents, in absence of a positive outcome to the mining imbroglio within the stipulated timeline.

Puti Gaonkar, President, GMPF, said, “We strongly urge Pramod Sawant the Chief Minister of Goa to stick to his assurance of solution for Goa mining crisis by end of Dec’19.”

“Recently we have heard announcements through statements attributed to various MLA’s in the state regarding the intention to form state run Mining Corporation for resumption of Goa mining but it does not seem to be a feasible solution as the Union Mines Ministry in its IA stated that there is a likelihood of conflicting rights being created unless the challenge to Abolition Act is decided by the Supreme Court of India,” he added.

Besides state run corporations don’t have required expertise to conduct the mining activities, he felt.

GMPF said it is firm in its demand for legislative amendment or a judicial solution as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for resumption of Goa mining, which is a long-term and viable solution for sustenance of mining. “If the government fails to meet the deadline of this month end for recommencement of mining activities, they must provide relief package to all mining dependents from next month onwards”, the statement added.

Mr Gaonkar also said if the state government is intending to sell the mining dumps through state run Mining corporation, GMPF would also urge the government to study the basic valuation of dump handling as at the present the state neither has the geologist nor has any authentic report of the minerals and the information on the grade material available in the dumps.

GMPF also urged the Goa government that in addition to the review petition they should continue pushing the Centre and ensure that a legislative amendment which will be a long term solution for sustainable mining in the state.

Mining is one of the two major sources of livelihood in Goa and a complete shutdown of the industry has had an adverse effect on the livelihood of more than three lakh people in the state. The shutdown has caused an estimated loss of more than Rs 5,000 crore per year in Goa thereby adversely impacting the state’s finances.

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