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Sardesai meets Prabhu in Delhi over Goa mining resumption issue

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New Delhi: Goa Forward Party chief and State Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai on Saturday met Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi pressing for the demand of resumption of iron ore mining in the State.

During his meeting with Prabhu, Sardesai presented a memorandum on behalf of Goa Mining People’s Front, urging centre’s intervention in resuming the mining activity.

“As promised to the Goa Mining People’s Front, I have met Union minister for commerce Suresh Prabhu and strongly pleaded the case for resumption of mining in the state,” Sardesai said talking over phone from Delhi after meeting the minister.

He said that  the government has to take some strong decisive measures in public interests to see that the hardship suffered by very significant population is alleviated.

Goa Mining People’s Front, an umbrella organization of the mining dependents, had met Sardesai this week seeking his intervention in the matter. The mining industry has come to standstill after Supreme Court through its verdict on February 07, 2018 quashed 88 mining leases.

GFP, which is a part of ruling coalition, had assured the mining dependents to take up the issue.

In a memorandum which was submitted to Prabhu in Delhi, the party has pointed out that  Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar vide letter dated September 24, 2018 wrote to  Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Mines requesting him to take appropriate steps to bring about necessary amendment to the Provision of Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Act (MMDR) so that mining in the State of Goa resumes at the earliest.

“Subsequent to the said letter the Ministry of Mines in consultation with the Union Law Ministry referred the file to the Attorney General of India seeking his legal opinion on the proposal from the Chief Minister of Goa,” the memorandum reads.

“However due to certain unavoidable circumstances Attorney General of India referred the file for opinion to the then Additional Solicitor General of India  Maninder Singh to opine on the matter. In the interim the Additional Solicitor General of India resigned from his post without opining on the said file,” it reads.

“At present the file has been sent back to the Attorney General awaiting further reference to another Law officer of the union of India,” GFP has said in the memorandum.

The party has said that the said delay is resulting in further contraction of timelines if the said amendment is required to be brought forward in the upcoming Winter Session of the Parliament of India to provide much needed relief to Lakhs of People engaged in the Mining Industry in the State.

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People to react for LS, if mining doesn’t start: Vijai Sardesai

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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.

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Solution for mining impasse soon: Shah

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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.

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Three critical in Cement Block manufacturing factory blast at Tuem

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Three workers were critically injured in a last at Cement block manufacturing unit at Tuem

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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.

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