Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has assured mining industry dependents that issues pertaining to the sector would be resolved by the end of July. Iron ore mining and transportation operations came to a standstill in Goa after the Supreme Court quashed 88 leases in February last year.
During a Niti Aayog meeting recently held in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also emphasised the need for quickly finding a resolution to the mining impasse in Goa.
Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) President Puti Gaonkar told reporters here that he “got an assurance from the Chief Minister (yesterday) that he will resolve this mining issue by the end of July.”
The chief minister said that the mining issue is already taken up before the Niti Aayog, Gaonkar added.
When asked about the possible options for resolution, Gaonkar said, “He (Sawant) has not disclosed any of the options. The chief minister said that he will do it either by existing system, or auction….”
GMPF, which is an umbrella body of mining dependents, had also earlier in the month written to the chief minister requesting for restart of earliest and sustainable mining in Goa to get back the livelihood lost.
Another member of GMPF said that the discussion with the chief minister was about the damage to the livelihood of the people “and the best possible way was the amendment to the Goa Abolition Act.”
Sawant said that “the solution is coming in July”.
Besides GMPF, Goa Barge Owners Association and Mormugao Ships Agents Association were also the part of the delegation which met Sawant on Wednesday. During the meeting, the mining dependents also brought to the knowledge of the CM issues like umemployment and retrenchment emanating due to mining closure.
Goa Barge Owners Association President William D’ Costa said “Today many of our brothers are in distress. ”
Earlier, GMPF had written to the CM stating the livelihood of over three lakh mining dependents was lost or at stake due to mining closure. Most of the mining companies, the letter said, had retrenched or served notice for stopping the employment in absence of accepting the voluntary retirement schemes declared by the respective firms.