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State panel calls on Tomar over resumption of mining

Panaji/Curchorem: A delegation representing the Goa Mining People’s Front met Union Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in New Delhi on Tuesday urging him to take measures for restarting mining activities in Goa at the earliest so as to protect the livelihood of Goans especially the mining dependent people.

Tomar told the delegation that the state government should forward such a proposal to the Centre, clarifying its stand on the issue, and the steps it would like to take in this direction.

“The Goa government should send a detailed proposal on resumption of mining in the state as well as its expectations from the Centre,” Tomar maintained. He assured the delegation that he would take appropriate action after receiving such a proposal.

The delegation was led by the GMPF leader Puti Gaonkar and accompanied by Union Minister of State (independent charge) for AYUSH Shripad Naik as well as the Rajya Sabha member and state Bharatiya Janata Party president Vinay Tendulkar.

The panel submitted a seven-page memorandum to the Union Mines Minister highlighting the repercussions of the mining ban on the people who are dependent on the sector.

The memorandum has appealed to the central government to restart mining activities at the earliest as the livelihoods of more than three lakh mining dependent people and about 60,000 people who are indirectly connected with the sector have been at stake.

Shripad Naik has assured the delegation of arranging a meeting with Union minister Nitin Gadkari and other central government authorities over the issue.

The delegation further requested the Union government to consider extension of term of the mining leases in the state, and sought amendment to Section 2 of the Goa Daman and Diu Mining Concessions Abolition Act, 1987, so as to pave the way for the resumption of mining in the state.

The Goa Mining People’s Front is an umbrella body of the mining affected people in Goa.The mining activities in Goa were shut down on March 16, 2018 after the Supreme Court in its order passed in February this year quashed 88 mining leases in the state and banned the extraction of fresh mineral ore.

Puti Gaonkar said the delegation will also call on the secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, officials of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and secretary of the Federation of Indian Mining Industries.

The panel will also meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi to discuss the pressing issue.The delegation also included a representative of mining dependant people Sanjai Naik and Surla Mine Union leader Sundar Naik. [NT]

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