Mining in Goa Should be Allowed Till 2037, Says State Govt Ahead of SC Hearing

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Representative image

Mining in Goa came to a standstill in March 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: July 15, 2020, 6:33 PM IST
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Ahead of the hearing on the Goa mining issue in the Supreme Court, the state government on Wednesday said resumption of mining will give a boost to the coastal state's economy which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.

The Goa mining case may come up for hearing in the apex court on Thursday.

"I think that with this economic crisis and Goa being a small state, dependent on mining and tourism, and with both these things not happening, Goa will suffer and people of Goa will suffer.

"So in the prudence of Supreme Court they have to do it logically and decide in the interest of...mining in the state...I hope Supreme Court prevails and does what is good for the state and the country together...what is required for the state and people of the state," Goa Law and Judiciary Minister Nilesh Cabral told PTI.

Mining in Goa came to a standstill in March 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases.

"When that (Supreme Court) judgement happened, the Supreme Court did not do what they have done to the other states of the country. Goa is the only state where second renewal was not given. I think they have to relook into the whole thing and allow the second renewal," he added.

Though an effort has been made to start tourism following the coronavirus outbreak, there are hardly 8-10 per cent of tourists, he said.

"Today tourism has come to a standstill...At least if mining starts, economic activity will start in the state," he said, adding the apex court should "allow Goa mining to continue till 2037."

Stopping of mining operations in Goa has affected three lakh people in the state, as per industry estimates.

"We appeal to the apex court to provide early relief for the resumption of mining in Goa during upcoming hearing," said Rajaram Arjun Gaonkar, chairperson, Bicholim Municipal Corporation.

According to Balaji Gauns of Dharbandora Taluka Truck Owner's Association, trucks and other machinery worth crores have been idling away for more than two years.

"These were the only source of livelihood for us and helped us support our families. Without mining activities some of our assets have already been repossessed by the banks. And if the Supreme Court doesn't provide urgent relief, than a common man like me won't have anything to live for," he said.

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