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State-run Mineral Corporation not feasible substitute to restart mining in Goa: GMPF

PTI     February 23, 2021

Goa Mining People's Front (GMPF) on Tuesday expressed strong reservations over the viability of mining resumption in the state via the route of government-run Mineral Corporation and stressed that it will only lead to a delay in the restart of mining activities. Mining in Goa came to a standstill in March 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases.

"We are fighting for getting back our livelihood at the earliest by resumption of mining in Goa and the fastest solution is ideal for getting back our livelihood. We see that the earliest solution is by legislative amendments.

"We do not see Mineral Corporation being a viable alternative to mining resumption in the state of Goa as it will only delay the resumption of mining with issues like surface rights and perpetuity rights enjoyed by the mine owners, state-run Mining Corporation for resumption of Goa mining does not seem to be a feasible solution," GMPF President Puti Gaonkar was quoted as saying in a statement.

Besides, state-run Corporations do not have required expertise to conduct the mining activities and the inefficiencies that will creep up in the activities of corporation will mess up the livelihood and "I do not have to give any witness to such inefficiencies of state corporation," Gaonkar said.

Formation of a Mineral corporation seems to be antithesis to the idea propounded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who seeks to promote private enterprise in the country to overcome years of inefficiencies which have been seen in the public sector, he explained.

GMPF further said that the corner meetings held by it to demand immediate mining resumption in the state continue to draw in large number of people who have extended their support to come out on street to fight for their livelihood.

During the meeting held recently, GMPF expressed strong resentment over the mining issue in the state being dragged for three years over possible solutions.

Over the past three years, mining dependents have met and written letters/ representations/memorandums to the apex court and ministries at both Central and State level, GMPF said.

The mining dependents have also urged the Centre to consider amendment in 'The Goa Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration of Mining Leases Act, 1987), the statement said.

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