Kamat told agency that fears expressed by people about
collapse of the economy are genuine only to a certain extent.
"People fear that their livelihood would be affected with
ban on mining activity. But state government's stand is clear.
We will support sustainable and legal mining in the state,"
Thousands of people had thronged to Panaji on October 12
demanding assurance from the government that legal mining is
not banned in the state. People dependent on mining like truck
operators had apprehended that there would be a total ban on
mining after the Shah Commission submits its report.
In the recent past, nearly half of the 90 odd mining
leases in the state have been ordered to suspend operations by
state and central authorities and the court for various
Kamat said mining is not new to the state of Goa. "It has
been happening right from the Portuguese time. Now, due to
(high) demand for the ore and rate that it fetches, people are
digging even in their private properties and extracting ore,
which is illegal."
"Government has been taking action against such activity.
Even with regard to legal mining, there is an issue of
environmental damage. The state government wants to ensure
that there is a balance between environment and mining," he
Kamat also pointed out that the mining activity is not
going to continue forever as iron ore reserves are bound to
"We have formulated micro-industrial zones in the
Regional Plan in the villages so that people dependent on
mining can diversify in other trades," he said.
Regional Plan 2021 is a land use plan notified by the
state government for all the 12 talukas.
Kamat said that once there is sufficient industrial
growth in these areas, people will have an option to the
Panaji: Amid fears that a ban on mining will
result in large number of people losing their livelihood, Goa
Chief Minister Digambar Kamat on Friday said his government would
support only sustainable and legal extraction in the state.
First Published: Friday, October 14, 2011, 19:14