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Thousands protest against Modi govt to demand resumption of mining activities in Goa

Devdiscourse News Desk panaji India
Updated: 14-03-2019 16:13 IST
Thousands protest against Modi govt to demand resumption of mining activities in Goa

Image Credit: Wikimedia

Thousands of people Thursday took out a protest march demanding resumption of iron ore mining industry, which came to a standstill in March last year. Nearly 7,000 people took part in the protest march which began from Campal ground in the city and culminated at historic Azad Maidan. Those dependent on the mining industry participated in the protest under the banner of Goa Mining People's Front (GMPF).

The iron ore mining activity in the state has been on hold since March 16 last year after the Supreme Court quashed the second renewal of 88 mining leases. The GMPF has been agitating demanding amendment in mining laws for the resumption of mining operations in Goa.

A delegation of GMPF also submitted a memorandum to Chief Secretary Parimal Rai on Thursday. Addressing the mining dependents, GMPF chief Puti Gaonkar said the state government can work out a solution with the intervention of the Supreme Court.

"The Goa government can file an affidavit before the Supreme Court for consideration of Goa, Daman and Diu (Abolition and Declaration of Mining Leases) Act 1987, with prospective effect. This will also help the leases to get prolonged life till 2037," he said. Gaonkar said the state should appoint a senior counsel to represent it in the apex court, instead of Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni, who is currently representing the state government.

In August 2018, the Goa Legislative Assembly had passed a resolution seeking Centre's intervention in resumption of mining activity. A delegation of mining dependents, along with MPs from Goa, had met BJP chief Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi seeking their help to resolve the crisis.