Goa minister seeks PM's intervention for mining resumption
Panaji: Goa Health Minister and BJP MLA Vishwajit Rane Wednesday sought intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in resumption of mining activity, which came to a halt following a supreme court order in March this year.
Rane and a host of politicians from Goa Wednesday met mining dependents who are on a sit-in protest at the Ramleela Maidan in Delhi.
Mining, which used to be one of two major mainstays of revenue in Goa, the other being tourism, came to a halt in March this year after the apex court quashed renewal of 88 mining leases.
Around one thousand people under the banner of Goa Mining People's Front (GMPF) have been protesting at the venue since Tuesday demanding an amendment to the mining law during the ongoing winter session of Parliament to enable resumption of mining activity.
"Only an intervention by prime minister Narendra Modi will help resolving the mining issue", the minister told PTI over phone from Delhi.
"The amendment to the existing mining laws has to be made to ensure that mining resumes as early as possible", the minister said,
Another Goa politician, Churchill Alemao of NCP also visited the protesters.
"I met Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and he has assured that the issue would be taken up in Parliament.
The closure of mining activity in Goa has created livelihood issues for several thousand people", he said.
Meanwhile, Prasad Gaonkar, one of the three Independent MLAs who are part of the BJP-led coalition government in the coastal state, said he would reconsider supporting the ruling dispensation if it fails to resolve the issue.
Other constituents of the coalition government are Goa Forward Party (GFP) and Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party (MGP).
"The political parties and Independents who are supporting the government are responsible for creating this mining mess. All of us who supported the government are responsible as we brought BJP to power.
"We should have pressurised the BJP to solve this issue on priority. Now it is high time that we should reconsider our support to the government, if this issue is not resolved", he said.