The Central government is sympathetic towards the resumption of mining in Goa and hopeful about “positive support” from the Supreme Court in the matter, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference, Gadkari said the matter is sub-judice and any comment on his part will be inappropriate.
“The Supreme Court is involved in this issue. For this (resumption of iron ore mining) Manohar Parrikar (late chief minister of Goa), Shripad Naik (Union minister and North Goa MP) and (Chief Minister) Pramod Sawant have made many attempts,” he said.
The iron ore industry in Goa came to a standstill after the top court quashed 88 mining leases in February, 2018.
Gadkari said he was also involved in the attempts for resumption of the mining industry.
“Goa’s economy is related to the iron ore export and that is why our government has been working sympathetically to resolve this issue. But the Supreme court is Supreme Court. So, we have to make a proper presentation before the SC and find a way out of this,” he added.
The union minister said the Central government will continue to make efforts for mining resumption. “This matter is sub-judice, so without the permission of the Supreme Court, the Goa government cannot take any decision nor the Union government can clear it,” he said.
Gadkari said only the top court can decide about the resumption of mining in Goa.
“After presenting the (iron ore mining) case to the top court by the Goa government and the Central government, we are expecting positive support from the Supreme Court. We can take any decision (on resumption of the mining activity) only after that and help them (people dependent on mining),” he said.
The resumption of iron ore mining has become a key plank for upcoming Assembly elections in Goa, due in February next year.