PANAJI: Corrupt government policies to favour certain private companies which are against the interests of the people, have led to the rampant illegal mining in many parts of the country. This observation was made by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founding member Prashant Bhushan while delivering a lecture in Panaji on Sunday.

Citing the example of the Posco steel project in Orrisa which will displace thousands of adivasis and lead to the cutting down of forests for steel which will then be exported, Bhushan praised the “heroic resistance by the farmers and adivasis for the last seven years” to fight against the Posco project and the threat of eviction.

Questioning what good such projects do for the country, Bhushan said they displace thousands of adivasis, lead to destruction of forests, mining pollutes the air and water, depletes the natural resources and destroys the environment. He pointed out that rampant mining in Goa was doing the same.

Bhushan alleged, ” Sesa Goa, which is the largest mining company here, is involved in every kind of illegality.” There are cases of serious fraud against the company, he added.

Critical of the “rampant and rapacious mining” that has taken place in Goa over the past several years, Bhushan- who is also representing the Goa Foundation in its petition against illegal mining in the Supreme Court- said the “time has come for the country to pause rampant mining going on and set things right before starting again”.

When asked about the people who claim to be dependent on mining, Bhushan said the negative impact of mining is more.

He said there had been great corruption in the grant of mining leases to private entities and was of the opinion that the mining sector in the country needed to be nationalised.

Stating that there was a need for a political revolution in this country, Bhushan said if the existing power structure of the corrupt system of administration and governance prevailing in the country is not changed soon, India will in 5-10 years experience a situation like that currently prevalent in Pakistan with the possibility of internal civil war.

Bhushan urged people to support the AAP so that the party can work towards “decentralizing the structure of power in the country”.