Mining crisis: Shah gives Goan MPs a ray of hope
14th March 2018, 02:25 Hrs
the goan I network
A delegation of BJP MPs representing Goa along with PWD Minister Ramkrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar and Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly Pramod Sawant called on union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Union Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to ‘apprise them about the effects and likely consequences’ of a mining shutdown in Goa.
The delegation also met BJP president Amit Shah in the morning to discuss the mining issue.
“Shripad Naik, Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Tendulkar and I spoke to our national president and apprised him of the situation. He has promised to speak to officials from the concerned departments and look at possible solutions,” Sawaikar said.
Shah promised the BJP MPs that he will study the matter after speaking to officials of all concerned government departments and arrive at a possible solution to the crisis.
Later in the evening, the delegation held meetings with Gadkari and Tomar with a focus on trying to mitigate the effects of the impending ban.
“They have told us that they will explore both short term and long term measures to ensure that the effects are not felt as severely on the people of Goa,” Sawaikar said, adding that Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari is expected to come to Goa to take stock of the situation in the absence of CM Manohar Parrikar who is being treated for an ailment in the US.
PWD Minister Ramkrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar on Monday has asked the mining-affected people to hold off any protests 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.
Earlier, an all-party delegation which went to Delhi, was snubbed by several central leaders only securing an audience with former Union Minister of Mines Piyush Goyal, who initially rubbished their demands before reportedly agreeing that the matter was not as simple as it initially seemed.
Mining operations are set to cease on March 15 after the SC back in February ruled that the renewal of leases by the Goa government was a violation of its previous orders.
Meanwhile, ore exporters have already begun loading their stocks on barges berthed in the Mandovi river in a bid to continue the sale of already extracted ore after March 15.
The shutdown has cast the entire mining industry into an uncertain future.
No transportation of extracted ore from leases after March 15
PANAJI: The Government of Goa has directed that there be no transportation of extracted ore from within the leases ‘till a legal opinion is sought with regards the transportation of extracted ore from the leasehold areas beyond March 15’.
The decision was arrived at, during a meeting called by the Secretary (Mines) so that the order of the Supreme Court ‘is complied with in letter and spirit and there is proper coordination between various departments connected with mining operations in the State of Goa.”
The Secretary (Mines) also directed that all the leases that did not commence production for the financial year 2017-18 are to be visited first starting from March 13 evening and a report confirming stoppage of production and transportation in such leases is to be prepared. Following this, the leases worked after 2015 are to be inspected, followed by the leases that are still in production or transportation till date.
The inspections carried out by four teams of the Mines Department should also involve the representatives of other departments as well and on March 16, a report should be prepared to confirm that all extraction and transportation activities in the State of Goa have stopped.
The Secretary (Mines) expressed concern over issues of mines safety and desired to know in how many cases/leases there is an issue of safety which needs to be focused upon. Secondly, whether the safety measures shall be continued in such leases by the previous leaseholders in view of the letter from the Director General of Mines Safety dated 09/03/2018.
Regional Controller of Mines was of the opinion that legally leaseholders may not be compelled to carry out safety measures beyond March 16. However, Director Mines and Geology informed that the leaseholders have agreed to continue mines safety operations beyond March 16.