Panajim: Goa Governor Mridula Sinha Tuesday assured to take up the issue of the resumption of mining in the State with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the union representing mining dependents said on Tuesday.
The delegation of Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF), an umbrella organization of people affected with the mining closure, met the Governor at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday morning.
“The Governor has specifically assured us to take up the matter related to resumption of mining activity in the State with PM. Only PM can provide the solution for the crisis faced by the mining dependents,” GMPF President Puti Gaonkar, who led the delegation told reporters at Azad Maidan in Panaji.
Several hundred mining dependents had gathered at Azad Maidan on Tuesday ahead of their four-day-long protest planned at Ram Leela Maidan and Jantar Mantar in Delhi from December 10 onwards.
Gaonkar said that the delegation explained in detail to Governor that Amendment to the existing mining laws is the “quick solution to salvage the industry from the crisis.”
The Iron Ore mining Industry in the State has come to a standstill since March this year after Supreme Court quashed 88 leases. According to a rough estimate, the SC decision has affected around two and half lakh people dependent on this industry in the coastal state.
Gaonkar said that the mining dependents would be holding protests at Ram Leela Maidan in New Delhi on December 10-11 and will shift the agitation to Jantar Mantar on December 12-13, ahead of the Parliament Session.
He claimed that several political parties have assured to visit the protestors at the venue to lend their support.
“The leaders from the parties like Congress, Goa Forward Party, Shiv Sena, Goa Suraksha Manch, Nationalist Congress Party, AAP will meet the protestors in Delhi,” Gaonkar said.
He added that the BJP leaders have also been asked to visit the protestors, and assure them that the upcoming Parliament session will move an Amendment to the mining act to ensure that the industry resumes its operations.
People to react for LS, if mining doesn’t start: Vijai Sardesai
GOA: BJP ally Goa Forward Party (GFP) on Monday said that the people will “react during Lok Sabha elections”, if BJP fails to resolve the impending crisis on the mining industry.
GFP President and State Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai also equated the current mining issue to the “regional aspirations”.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi says ek bharat, shreshta bharat. His statement is with regional aspirations in mind. If any party is not able to meet regional aspirations then we will not be able to get support of the people,” the minister said talking to reporters in Margao town of South Goa on Monday.
“Even the PM says so (about regional aspirations). So what is regional aspirations? Mining is the backbone of economy. It should start,” he added.
“If mining crisis is not solved before Lok Sabha election, then people will react towards the BJP candidates,” he said.
Sardesai said that no amount of fire fighting by parties like GFP to support BJP candidate during Lok Sabha polls will work.
“Whatever statements we might make, the people will react during Lok Sabha election. How will you get the votes, if you don’t work to solve the issues of the people?,” he questioned.
Around two lakh mining dependents under the banner of Goa Mining People’s Front are agitating demanding resumption of the industry which has been shut down since last year due to Supreme Court order.
Ahead of historic Opinion Poll Day celebrations, Sardesai said the identity politics has gained much importance.
Goa had witnessed historical opinion poll in which the people had voted against the merger of former Portuguese territory into neighbouring Maharashtra.
Sardesai said that on the eve of opinion poll day celebrations, we need that the heroes who have maintained our identity should be recognized.
“If they are not recognized, people will not be with you. We (GFP) speak about identity politics. Goa retained its Goemkarponn (Goanness) due to Opinion Poll. If we had not to win that (Opinion poll), then we would have been just one taluka of Maharashtra,” he said.
“If we don’t accept it and don’t recognize in the history, then people will not be happy with you,” he added.
Solution for mining impasse soon: Shah
New Delhi: The solution for current impasse on the industry would be brought about soon by the Central government, BJP National President Amit Shah told the delegation of Mining dependents and MPs.
The delegation of Goa Mining People’s Front along with all the three Members of Parliament – Shripad Naik, Narendra Sawaikar and Vinay Tendulkar, met Shah in New Delhi on Sunday.
GMPF President Puti Gaonkar, in a statement issued has said that Shah mentioned that the data about the loss of jobs, idle trucks and barges and bank Non Performing Assets is worrying.
“Shah assured that a solution to the present mining impasse shall be brought about soon by the Central government,” Gaonkar added.
“During the meeting on Sunday, Shah stated that the issue of livelihood faced by lakhs of Goans due to stoppage of mining activities in the State is known by all and that Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar and MPs of Goa have been following up with the Central government for a solution,” he added.
The mining industry in Goa has come to a standstill since March last year after Supreme Court quashed 88 Iron Ore extraction leases in the coastal state.
Three critical in Cement Block manufacturing factory blast at Tuem
GOA: Three workers were critically injured and six others had miraculous escape with minor injuries after a blast in a cement block manufacturing factory at Tuem Industrial Estate, this afternoon.
The incident happened around 12.15 noon when more than dozen of workers were present in the factory.
Pernem Police Inspector Sandesh Chodankar said that all three workers who were injured in the blast were taken to Goa Medical College and Hospital.
“Their situation is critical and being treated,” he said.
While Fire and Emergency Services rushed to the spot immediately, they cordoned off the place and extinguished the fire.
Chodankar said that the exact cause of blast would be known only after State Factories and Boilers Department submits its report.
He said that the offence of endangering human life would be filed against the owner and management of the factory.
Tuem Industrial Estate is located in Pernem taluka, which is bordering Maharashtra.