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Resuming mining: Goans hope for best results from CM's visit to Delhi

IANS | November 10, 2020 02:24 PM

NEW DELHI: The mining community of Goa -- mining workers, people employed in the logistics industry, barges, ports among others are hopeful that the current visit of Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to Delhi will resolve the deadlock put on the iron-ore mining activities in the state for over 30 months.

Sawant in his current visit to Delhi is supposed to meet Amit Shah, Union Home Minister and Pralhad Joshi, Minister of Mines to discuss the possible solutions for resuming mining in the state.

Sawant also has meetings planned with Ministry of Tourism and Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways to discuss and to update them on various developmental issues in the state.

All mining activities in the state was suddenly ceased on March 16, 2018 following the Supreme Court's decision. The decision has affected 3,00,000 livelihoods in the state. The Goans since then are making continuous plea to the state and Centre for resumption of mining activities in the interest of revival of state economy and protecting livelihoods of mining dependents.

For past many quarters, the state government has been making continuous and rigorous attempts to fast track the proposal before the Centre for resumption of mining leases by way of legislative cure.

Earlier, in April this year Goa CM wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking an amendment to the Goa Daman and Diu (Abolition of Concession and Declaration as Mining Leases) Act, 1987 law that will allow mining operations in the state to continue till 2037.

Till date, no decision has been taken and Goans demand for legislative amendment to recommence mining in the state with immediate effect. In November last year, Goa Government has filed a review petition with the Apex Court seeking a relook on the mining ban.

The unprecedented Covid pandemic has further intensified the wounds of Goans as tourism sector, Goa's biggest revenue and employment generation has also come to a standstill and is unlikely to revive the near future. The downturn of tourism sector has further aggravated the crippling economy of the State which was already suffering from more than two and half years of mining stoppage. As per Goa Chambers of Commerce and Industries (GCCI) the state's tourism industry has lost about Rs 1,000 crore worth of business because of the lockdown. With state debts standing at an all-time high of Rs 20,000 Crores, the burden on the future generations of Goa is already steadily increasing.



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