Action shifts to Delhi again as MPs meet Shah
Cabral-led delegation meets Francis; urges Cabinet Advisory Committee to convene a cabinet meeting to decide on the issue
Story: The Goan Network | 13th March 2018, 02:00 Hrs
DELEGATION FOR* A delegation of mining dependents led by Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral feels that the government should challenge the apex court's judgement, for which a cabinet meeting was necessary
BATTLE IN SC
* They claimed that when political instability strikes the state, central leaders were quick to visit the State, but were conspicuous by their absence to come to Goa and addresses the crisis affecting lakhs of mining dependents.
Mining is an issue of the central government. The chief minister is not in the state and it is not possible to carry out mining activity due to the Supreme Court's ban. I will put forth this issue before the chief secretary and he will discuss it with the chief minister-------------------------------------------------------------------
- Francis D'Souza
PANAJI / MAPUSA: With barely three days ahead of the Supreme Court's March 15 deadline, hectic efforts are underway on various fronts to address and resolve the growing unrest and grievances of mining dependents in the State.
While the state's three MPs are in New Delhi to apprise BJP President Amit Shah on the issue, delegations met all three Cabinet Advisory Committee (CAC) members for concerted solution to the crisis.
All three MPs from Goa will meet BJP President Amit Shah on Tuesday to apprise him about the crisis in the State due to the Supreme Court's judgement.
Goa's three BJP MPs -- North Goa MP and Union Minister for Ayush Shripad Naik, South Goa MP Adv. Narendra Sawaikar and BJP State President and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Tendulkar -- reached Delhi on Monday. They will meet Shah at 11 am on Tuesday.
Talks are expected to take place on the possibility of the State getting relief by an ordinance of the central government.
Tendulkar has expressed optimism that there will be some solution on the issue during their talks with the BJP national president.
With Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar undergoing treatment in the USA and the appointment of a three-member Cabinet Advisory Committee (CAC), confusion prevails over the CAC's authority on dealing with the mining crisis as it has only limited and advisory rights.
In a bid to seek clarity, a delegation of mining dependents led by Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral on Monday met Urban Development Minister and CAC member Francis D'Souza, at his residence.
The delegation urged D'Souza to get the CAC to immediately convene a cabinet meeting and decide on the issue of mining activity, before forwarding it Delhi for a solution. It also discussed the possibility of filing a review petition in the Supreme Court.
Cabral told D'Souza that the CAC should immediately contact Parrikar and advise him to handover all rights in this matter to the three-member committee.
Those leaders of various mining-related associations in the delegations included Kausthubh Kamat (Goa Customs Broker Association), Mannu Thakkar and Pramod Tawade (shipping agencies), Reymond D'Sa (Goa Boat Owners Association), Atul Jadhav and Rahul Naik (Barge owners association leader), Noel Carvalho, Chandrakant Gawas and P S Naik (shipyards), Mayur Arolkar and Dilip Fadate (Boat and Trawler associations), Hedwig Carvalho and Ram Kandolkar (launch owners), K Chanan (mining association), Sandeep Parab and Sushant Parab (machinery association), Santosh Naik, Yeshwant Dessai, Suresh Dessai, Balsu Dessai and Suryakant Naik (truck owner associations).
The delegation felt that the government should challenge the apex court's judgement, for which a cabinet meeting was necessary.
They claimed that when political instability strikes the state, central leaders were quick to visit the State, but were conspicuous by their absence to come to Goa and addresses the crisis affecting lakhs of mining dependents.
D'Souza said the mining dependents had put forth their problems, but he had not given them any assurance in this regard.
“Mining is an issue of the central government. The chief minister is not in the state and it is not possible to carry out mining activity due to the Supreme Court's ban. I will put forth this issue before the chief secretary and he will discuss it with the chief minister,” said D'Souza.
In yet another meeting, a delegation also met TCP Minister Vijay Sardessai on the mining issue and he was favourable to a review petition in Supreme court.
Sudin asks mining affected to
hold off protests until Mar 31
PWD Minister Ramkrishna “Sudin” Dhavalikar and has asked the mining affected people to hold off any protests or shutdowns they are planning until March 31 thus allowing the government sufficient time to plan any resolutions to the problem or chalk out the way forward.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at the secretariat complex, Dhavalikar said that everyone -- including ruling and opposition MLAs are seized with the issue, they understand its seriousness and would come up with a solution.
“I ask all the affected people to wait till March 31 and after March 31, if the government has not thought of anything and there is no solution in sight, then they are free to call for a bundh and other protests they have promised. Only thing is they should not take laws into their own hands,” Dhavalikar said.
Dhavalikar stressed that the people need to understand the difference between the ban of 2012 and the current one.
“In 2012 mining was suspended. The difference now is that the leases have been cancelled. Even if we have to get the environmental clearances, it will take at least four to five months to hold the public hearings,” Dhavalikar said.
He said the future course of action would be decided after returning from Delhi where the three MPs and Dhavalikar hope to meet a host of Union Ministers on Tuesday.
“Depending on the happenings in Delhi, an appropriate decision will be placed before the cabinet,” Dhavalikar said.
A meeting of the three-member cabinet advisory committee is also expected this week.
Mining companies allowed to
extract till Mar 15, says DMG
The Director of Mines and Geology (DMG), Prasanna Acharya, has informed that the operational mining leases are allowed to extract iron ore till March 15. Earlier, DMG had directed all the operational leases to stop extraction of iron ore by March 13.
Acharya has modified his earlier instructions and as a result of which operational leases are allowed to extract ore till March 15.
The Supreme Court (SC) had issued an order on February 7, which had cancelled the renewal of 88 mining leases in the state. The apex court had also said no extraction can happen in these leases from March 16 onwards.
To implement the order of SC, the DMG had earlier directed mining companies to stop extracting by March 13, to stop transportation of ore by 6.00pm on March 14 and to remove immovable machinaries on mining site by March 15.
After these directions were issued, there were demands from several sections that extraction of ore should be allowed till March 15 in pursuance of the SC’s order.
It was informed that leaseholders association met Acharya and urged him that extraction may be allowed till March 15 and Acharya agreed in-principle with their request.
The leaseholders have been allowed to continue extraction till March 15 under the supervision of Regional Controller of Mines, Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), Margao.
The transportation of the ore outside the leasehold area is allowed till 7 pm on March 15.