PANAJI: The NGO, Utt Goenkara, has demanded that there be no resumption ofmining operations in Goa until farmers from the mining belt are adequately compensated for the damage caused to their fields due to reckless mining over the years.

Making the demand at a press conference inPanaji, president of the organization, Advino Fernandes, and its legal cell in-charge Jatin Naik said several farmers have filed claims for compensation from the mining companies operating in the respective areas, but so far the mining barons have ignored their claims.

Even the government has remained silent on the issue, aligning with the mining companies, Fernandes alleged.

Naik said that Utt Goenkara would move an intervention petition in the Supreme Court along with the affected farmers to convince the court that resumption of mining should be allowed with some pre-condition. “The mining companies should not be allowed to do what they had been doing in the past,” he said.

Naik said the NGO, in-principle, is not against mining, as it is providing livelihood to many people in Goa.”We are strongly against mining which is under the control of private mining companies which have corrupted the political fabric of Goan society by paying huge amounts of money by way of donations to political parties,” he said.

He said if the destruction of environment in mining areas has stopped, it is because of environmentalists like Claude Alvares and Ramesh Gauns.