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Governor promises to take up mining issue with PM

Panjim: Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF), an umbrella organization of mining dependents, on Tuesday said the Goa Governor Dr Mridula Sinha has promised them to take up the iron ore resumption issue before Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

GMPF delegation led by union leader Puti Gaonkar this afternoon met Governor seeking her intervention in seeking Prime Minister’s appointment to discuss and deliberate on the current mining crisis that have affected the livelihood of three lakh mining dependents.

The delegation has requested the Governor to mount pressure on the Central government for amending Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and Goa, Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration of Mining leases Act, 1987) to the existing mining leases will have life extended up to the year 2037, during the upcoming winter session of the Parliament beginning from December 11.

Considering that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has assured his cabinet colleagues to raise mining issue with Prime Minister, GMPF wants the former to fix an appointment with Modi before commencement of the Parliament session to get clarity on the matter.

Around thousand-odd mining dependents had gathered at Azad maidan to decide their action plan for Jantar Mantar, Ram Leela Maidan in New Delhi where they will hold sit-in protest from December 11 to 13 pressing for their demand.

GMPF has threatened to come on the street in large numbers if the amendments are not passed in the Parliament. Addressing the crowd post meeting Governor, Gaonkar said that during their interaction, Governor told the delegation that she is aware about the mining issue and how life of several lakh people is affected due to closer of the activities. “We have requested the Governor that as a head of the State, to please seek Prime Minister’s appointment and discuss the need for amendments to the Act,” he said.

“Governor has assured us to take up the issue with prime minister at the earliest,” Gaonkar stated.

Reiterating that the ruling BJP has no “political will” to restart the mining industry; Gaonkar questioned why the State Assembly passed the resolution, if the amendments were not possible. “If the government had no willingness or if CM was not confident about the amendment, then why did they pass the resolution? Why did State government not consult the Advocate General before passing the resolution?” he questioned further.

“We request government not to test our patience. We have resorted to violent and non violence protest for our livelihood. Don’t force us to come on streets again,” he said adding ‘if parliament fails to pass the amendments, the further action will be decided by December 19’. [H]

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