PANAJI: The Goa Mining People's Front (GMPF) on Friday urged the Government of India and the Goa government to provide a lasting solution for the resumption of mining activities in the State.
All the mining activities in Goa abruptly came to standstill with effect from March 16, 2018 which had hit over three lakh Goan livelihoods resulting in grave job loss and severe and critical unemployment in the State.
GMPF president Puti Gaonkar said, "It has been two years since the mining has been closed down the second time after the first closure in 2012. The economic condition of the people is in very bad shape apart from the falling government revenue slowing down the general development process. Our CM has
been in media time and again about deadlines on mining restart. In the recent Supreme Court case hearing we understand that the State has agreed to the prayer of mining companies for mining lease life till 2037."
Gaonkar strongly criticised the negative role played by the NGO by bringing in hindrance in the process of restarting the mining in Goa. They have all legal rights to do so and the matter is up to the Supreme Court to give decision but hope the decision will in the interest to protection of employment and safeguarding the livelihood of people with immediate restart of mining in the State, he said.
Gaonkar warned that peoples patience was running out due to their economic conditions and I appeal to all NGOs to act responsibly. People in the mining belt were now fed-up with the NGO as peoples necessities were slipping away due to the unemployment.
He demanded that the government had to ensure that mining had to restart and employment gets generated back to normal whatever the solution was through judicial means, through legislative or any other. It was important that any solutions should get the problem of unemployment resolved and it was not important who gets the leases. We are closely monitoring the movement of NGO activities that are going against our livelihood.
The GMPF had now started an awareness campaign about the negative role played by NGOs in their livelihood. "We will intensify this awareness among people to protect their livelihood and not get carried away with the false dreams shown by these NGOs. We warn the NGOs that their grudge with mining companies should not come in way of our livelihood”, Gaonkar said.
The abrupt stoppage of mining industry has severe impact on State economy with more than Rs 7000 crore loss to the State revenue over the last two years and substantial deterioration in per capita income of the State.