Goa truck owners in a fix over loan liabilities
Panaji: Truck operators working for various iron ore mines across Goa have demanded that the state government take over their loan liabilities and provide monthly remuneration to families in the wake of the crisis looming large on the mining industry.
Supreme Court`s recent verdict halting transportation and extraction of ore in the state, at least for next four weeks, has plunged the industry into deeper crisis.
It is estimated that there are 26,000 trucks working for 90-odd mining leases in the state.
All Goa Mining Truck Owners Association President Nilkant Gawas said there seems to be no end for the ongoing crisis.
"It was faulty decisions of the government that has forced us into facing this problem. Government should take over the loan liabilities of all the truck owners and provide monthly remuneration between Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000," Gawas said.
The Manohar Parrikar-led BJP government has already initiated a process to work out financial package for all the people, including truck owners, who may be impacted with the crisis in the mining industry.
Gawas said government can recover the money illegally minted by mine owners, pointed out by the Justice M B Shah Commission in its report.
The report has pointed out to Rs 35,000 crore illegal mining in Goa.
Gawas said it’s time for mine owners to pay back whatever they have earned from illegal mining.
"We were unaware about what is legal and what is illegal in the mining industry. We didn`t even know that there is something called Environment Clearance," he said.
The truck owners feel that they should be bailed out from the crisis or else, it may spurt incidents of suicide in the iron ore rich mining belt.
"Everything may sound smooth now, but after November 15, when it’s time to re-start mining, things will turn bitter," he warned.
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