– Over 50,000 Mining dependents from Goa to submit representation to Hon’ble Prime Minister of India for immediate resumption of Mining in the state
– Mining resumption is of utmost importance as the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic has further deepened the wounds of Goans as tourism industry in the state has come to a standstill which brings the livelihood of the people depending on mining and tourism to a grinding halt
New Delhi, 10th August, 2020: Over 50,000 mining dependents including Goa Mining People’s Front, Barge Owners Association, Truck Operators Association, Village Panchayats and people associated with mining allied livelihoods have submitted their appeal through ‘Signature Campaign’ to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi for his immediate intervention to protect livelihoods in the state by resuming mining operations in Goa. In the letter, mining dependents of Goa sought necessary directives from the Hon’ble Prime Minister to the policy makers for restoring the livelihood of lakhs of people who are directly and indirectly dependent on mining for survival.
All mining activities in the state was abruptly ceased on March 15, 2018 following the Supreme Court’s decision to quash renewal of 88 mining leases affecting 3,00,000 lives in the state. 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 Goa Mining. It’s a high time to bring in immediate solution to this stalemate which is almost pending for last 27 Months since The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic has further intensified the abrasions of Goans as tourism sector, Goa’s biggest revenue and employment generation is expected to be on a standstill for the next 4-5 quarters. The multitudinous job-loss in the state has fostered a mammoth challenge for Goa which was already witnessing an economic downturn.
Mr. Puti Gaonkar, President, GMPF today said, “We are obliged to the his excellency Hon’ble Governor of Goa Shri Satya Pal Malik and Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant for their act of mobilising a righteous course of action to protect livelihoods of lakhs of Goans. We request the Hon’ble Prime Minister to consider the appeals made by the Governor and Chief Minister of Goa to safeguard our livelihoods. Over 50000 mining dependents have recently submitted appeal to the office of Hon’ble Prime Minister through ‘Signature Campaign’ and the same is sent to the Chief Minister of Goa Dr. Pramod Sawant for further action. I once again request Goa CM and Hon’ble Governor of Goa to take immediate action on this issue, since you are aware that situation has worsened & reached peak.The present impasse of mining stoppage coupled with Covid-19 induced challenges has further worsened the situation for Goans with uncertainties over livelihood resumption looming high. Vulnerable families are virtually starving at the present and surviving on huge borrowings, dwindling savings, alternative small-scale temporary jobs etc. Due to Social distancing norms we have kept our Door to Door campaign on hold along with corner meetings but if we don’t get immediate relief from Government and concerned authorities we will be forced to agitate for our survival”
Adding to it Mr. Vinayak Alias Balaji Gauns, Vice President GMPF and President of Dharbandora Taluka Truck Owners association said “We are also troubled with continuous postponement of allotted hearing dates and issuance of new ones by the Hon’ble Courts without any conclusive decisions being made. We wish to bring to your notice that immediate resumption of Goa mining industry is very crucial for restoring state’s economy to save livelihood of over 3 lakh people who are directly and indirectly dependent on mining for survival.”
The shutdown of the tourism industry for at least a year would further aggravate the unemployment rates. With the state’s debts already standing at an all-time high of Rs. 20000 Crores, the amount of debt is expected to increase further in the future owing to the current situation. The socio-economic fabric of the state is further tarnished by the unprecedented situation created due to the outburst of COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past two years, mining dependents have met and submitted various appeals/representations/memorandums seeking intervention and action from the authorities at the State and Centre level for early resumption of Mining in the State of Goa. GMPF has among others met and briefed Honourable President of India, Honourable Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, Union Mines Minister, Union Law Minister, Chief Minister of Goa, various MP’s cutting across party lines, and bureaucrats at Centre and State.