Millennium Post

‘Bleak future with suspension of mining in Goa’

The ship owners in Goa ferrying iron ore from jetties to ports have claimed on Sunday that their business was on the brink of crisis after the government suspended mining leases in the state.

'We see bleak future ahead for this industry which has 6,000 families dependent on it,' All Goa Barge Owners Association [AGBOA] Atul Jadhav told reporters. Around 400 barges [ships] operate through inland waterways ferrying iron ore from different jetties to both the ports; Mormugao Port Trust [MPT] and Panaji Minor port.

The state government, as a part of implementation of justice M B Shah Commission report on iron ore trade in Goa has suspended licences of all the mines since 7 September and Jadhav feels that due to it, the barge industry was facing a 'big ordeal'.

However, the state government has not banned the transportation and export of ore that is already lying at the jetties or recently extracted and piled up in the mining leases.

Jadhav said that chief minister Manohar Parrikar, during a discussion with them, had claimed that there was one million metric tonnes of ore lying at the jetties and mines.

'But the mining industry claims that seven million metric tonnes of iron ore are piled up at jetties and mines,' he added. The barge owners said that the available ore is not enough to sustain their trade. AGBOA secretary William D'Costa said that the barge owners had arrived to a consensus that everyone would share the existing cargo, till the situation normalises.
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