Goa Mining Affected People’s Front has demanded a raise in the dole announced by the state government and resumption of stalled activity in a sustainable manner.

“Firstly, we have not asked the government for any schemes or packages. How long will the government support the people? The amount proposed is not adequate….We do not want to live like beggars but want a life of dignity”, Christopher Fonseca, spokesman, Goa Mining Affected People’s Front (GMAPF) told PTI. The organisation, which has been holding demonstrations at Azad Maidan here for the last two weeks, said it would intensify the protests across the state if their demands are not looked into. “We have been peacefully protesting for the last two weeks and will intensify the protest across Goa. People in various mining talukas will protest in their respective areas”, Fonseca said.

Goa Governor B V Wanchoo in his address to the Legislative Assembly had assured a monthly compensation of Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000 to those affected by the ban on mining.

The agitators also appealed to all MLAs, irrespective of their party lines, to pass a unanimous resolution in the ongoing Assembly session for resumption of mining activity in a sustainable manner, taking all stake-holders into confidence. Iron ore mining, Goa’s one of the main economic activity, was initially stopped by the state government asking the mine owners to produce their valid documents.

‘If SC modifies order, mining can be restarted soon’

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said the state government will restart mining operations within six to eight weeks, once Supreme Court vacates or modifies its order halting the extraction and transportation of the ore. Parrikar told the state Legislative Assembly that the existing halt in mining activity was due to three reasons, including the apex court’s order halting the extraction and transportation of ore, pending report from the Central Empowered Committee (CEC). The CM said that in October last year, the Supreme court had issued ad interim order without issuing any notice to the state government. “If SC vacates or modifies its order, we will start the legal mining within six to eight weeks,” Parrikar said. The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest had suspended the Environment Clearances (EC) to find out the possibility of illegalities committed during the issuance of ECs for the mines, he said.

Courtesy: Business Standard