All is not lost: Gadkari on mining crisis
Opinions of 3 top-level advocates not ‘connected’ to mining sought AG of India to take final decision n Cabinet to decide on e-auction Jobs of mining dependents to be protected
21st March 2018, 02:28 Hrs
the goan I network
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari assured the mining dependents who called on him that he would take their opinions on the Supreme Court decision to the highest lawyers of the land while at the same time ensuring that through the auction of dumps, no mining-affected person remains without work.
The Union Minister who arrived in the state for an official function of the Mormugao Port at Vasco da Gama, spent the rest of the day meeting delegations of mining-affected persons as well as politicians as he sought to firefight the political and economic crisis that is staring at the state.
Addressing media persons late Tuesday evening, Gadkari said that the final course of action will be decided by the Attorney General of India after taking the opinions of three top-level advocates who have not been engaged by mining companies or stakeholders in the past.
“There are several who have offered various interpretations of the Supreme Court judgement. We will take opinions of all concerned. We have asked the mining-affected that if they can speak to legal lights and offer opinions, we will take those on board too. We will also speak to other legal experts and the final decision will be taken by the Attorney General of India based on whose opinion, the further course of action will be decided,” Gadkari said.
Throughout the day Gadkari held separate meetings with various delegations of mining-affected persons including the mining leaseholders, the mining-affected including barge owners, the truck operators and other heavy machinery operators besides also holding separate meetings with political leaders including leaders of coalition parties, BJP MLAs and ministers as well as independents in the government.
Gadkari also held meetings with officials currently running the state including Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma as well as Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister P Krishnamurthy.
Gadkari stressed that while the government is sympathetic to the plight of the mining-affected people who are facing a difficult economic future, it was important that law and order are maintained.
“We will find a means to protect their jobs and the role of our government will be crucial in this. The state cabinet will take a decision to take forward the e-auction of dumps which he said would at least ensure that the ore truckers would get jobs.
At the same time, he said that the governments both at the state and central level were “trying for the best but preparing for the worst.”
“I have asked the chief secretary not to be too harsh on those who disrupted traffic on Monday. Those who were photographed as being extremely violent, is another matter, but I have asked the Chief Secretary to go light on the others,” Gadkari said.
Ordinance route ruled out
PANAJI: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday categorically ruled out any ordinance to bypass the Supreme Court judgement on mining. “There is no question of going for the ordinance route to bypass the Supreme Court’s judgement. It is a judgement of the Supreme Court. An ordinance is not possible,” Gadkari said.
No leadership change, Parrikar
will be back, assures Gadkari
PANAJI: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari ruled out any leadership change in the State and said that the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who, he said is receiving treatment in the USA, would be back after this interim period to once again lead the state.
“I spoke to the Chief Minister in the USA. I have also spoken to the doctors treating him. He will be there for another six weeks. This two-month period will be a transition period,” Gadkari said ruling out the need for a change in leadership or the current arrangement in the State.
Gadkari also said that the anger being directed at the government through yesterday’s protest was akin to a child getting angry at his/her mother because expectations were not fulfilled and were not a reflection of the leadership vacuum in the state.
Gadkari also ruled out telling the media the exact details of what Parrikar is ailing from only saying that the Chief Minister will return hale and hearty to once again assume office.