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GMPF Strongly Urges Goa Govt to Persuade Centre to Resolve Stalemate on Goa Mining

GMPF urges the Chief Minister to take up of mining restart more vigorously with Central Govt as it is seen that the Central Govt has no priority for Goa state welfare. The Chief Minister should try and get necessary priority to resolve the stalemate of mining resumption for addressing growing unemployment in the state

  • After returning from Delhi last week the Chief Minister said that he will take a special cabinet meeting to deliberate the discussion he had in Delhi with Prime Minister and the Union Mines Minister and decide the way ahead on mining resumption in Goa. People are eagerly awaiting the decision as the mining season has already approached
  • Mining resumption is of utmost importance as the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic has deepened the economic crises in the state with Tourism and other industries in the state are also suffering which combinedly has eroded over 40% of state employment
  • The small scale operations of ore transport that takes place due to royalty paid ore (permitted by SC) and the auction ore is not enough to sustain the livelihood of the large mining dependent populace of the state with only about 30% of actual mining dependent benefiting on the same,. Further it is not sustainable for the mining dependent providing services to mining sector. So auction of ore is not enough to sustain livelihood of mining dependents.

New Delhi, 14th October, 2020: Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF), which has been at the forefront of the on-going fight to protect livelihood of 3, 00,000 Goans in the State. Nearly 60,000 directs jobs have been lost due to mining closure and the mining dependent people are in distress even for earning their livelihood. The woes continue to increase as State Government is not able to get a required solution from the Central government since nearly 30 months of mining closure.

All mining activities in the state were abruptly ceased on March 15, 2018 following the Supreme Court’s decision to quash renewal of 88 mining leases and since then there have been umpteen promises made to the people by State and the Central Govt to get a sustainable solution but with no concrete action seen to resolve the stalemate. Hon’ble Prime Minister during election campaign had acknowledged the severe impacts due to stoppage of Mining and had assured the required intervention for immediate resumption of mining in Goa but no decisive actions are initiated by the Central Govt. If mining in Goa is not resumed to work for this coming season(Nov to May) , there will be serious problems faced by the mining dependents.

Highlighting the issue, Mr. Puti Gaonkar, President, GMPF said, “We are every time told by the Chief Minister that the mining will be starting within next three months and its over 30 months of hard times the mining dependents are facing since the mining closure in March’18. We are given to understand that the State Government wants the mining to resume and also the Central Government wants to resume the mining in Goa and both are BJP government. It’s a lack of political will by the state and Central government to arrive at a firm decision for resumption of mining in Goa. IN THIS TIME OF DISTRESS HOW LONG IS THE GOVERNMENT GOING TO WAIT FOR THE SUPRME COURT DECISION WHEN THE CASE IS NOT YET EVEN HEARD?. WE ARE ALSO NOT GIVEN ANY CONFIDENCE THAT THE PROPOSAL FOR LEGISLATIVE CURE IS EVEN MOVED BY THE UNION MINISTRY OF MINES. We have no doubts on the intension of our Hon’ble Chief Minister about his commitment for restarting mining in the state . We have asked appointment of the Hon’ble Chief Ministers where we will put before him our woes and plead to him not to bring us to the street protesting against the failure to protect our livelihood. We will also be giving our suggestion to restart mining on basis of the existing court orders and mining laws be it starting actual mining at smaller scale(to start with). Our livelihood earning cannot wait endlessly as our savings are eroding and even the basic amenities to our family including children education have become a burden. We will be meeting the cabinet ministers and Leader of the opposition with regards to the cabinet meeting declared by CM after coming from Delhi and we all are awaiting a solution for mining resumption from this meeting. We are pleading the Government not to force us to take any drastic steps , at the same time we assure that we will stand by the Government decision of any solution decided by them for mining resumption such that people get back their jobs and other forms of employment in coming season itself starting November/December.”.

GMPF Vice president Mr, Vinayak Gauns (alias Balaji ) who is also the president of Dharbandoda Truck owners association explaining the difficulty faced by mining trucking sector said, “The truckers are one of the biggest sufferers in this process of delay in mining resumption. Many of the trucks are rotting at the place they are parked as there is no funds maintain the trucks. Most of the trucks that plied for a 3 or 4 months for ore transportation ran into losses as there were more trucks for a limited quantity of ore that was transported. The truck owner has to pay up for truck repair and the fixed cost of taxes/insurance every year. To make up this cost the trucks has to continuously run for full season if a truck owner has to earn a living for his family. How will we afford to pay the driver who also have a family to support. Our trucks have to queue for 12 to 15 hrs to get one trip of 30 KM. How can we afford this business. For smooth business it is very important that mining starts on regular basis and piece meal working for auction quantities will not be sustainable for large mining truck industry connected to Goa mining. We are running out of patience with this non-sustainable business where we are running in losses in an attempt to remain in the business. Its high time the Govt takes up the matter seriously to restart mining in the state.”.

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