Little bit of sand mining should be allowed, says Goa Deputy CM

Goa Deputy Chief Minister Francis D'Souza has said sand mining in the state is manual and many industries are dependent on it so a 'little bit' of sand mining should be allowed in the state.

Panaji: Goa Deputy Chief Minister Francis D'Souza has said sand mining in the state is manual and many industries are dependent on it so a 'little bit' of sand mining should be allowed in the state.

In August last year, National Green Tribunal (NGT) had has issued a restraint order against all sand mining activity being carried out across the country, including Goa, without environmental clearance.

Goa being a coastal state was in thick of the action for sand mining.

"Sand mining in Goa is all manual but NGT is saying you should not not have mechanical extraction but they stopped it all together. You cannot stop everything, not only the real estate many other industries are also dependent on this. People should look into (this in a) holistic manner" D'Souza told.

He was speaking at the sidelines of the Credai Youth Confluence.

Asked do you think sand mining should be allowed in the state, D'Souza replied, "Little bit has to be allowed you cannot kill the industry. There are too many people dependent on it."

However, he also suggested that industry also should explore substitutes for sand like artificial sand and fly ash.

The Deputy Chief Minister of the state also emphasised that there has to be a balance between protecting the environment and satisfying demand and needs of the people.

"There is demand of housing in the state...High end houses, middle end houses or low end housing so demand of housing is there but you have to keep environment in mind," he added.

As there is need for housing in the state, D'Souza said, the percentage of land used for developmental purposes also needs to be increased.

"Goa issues are different. We use about 5 per cent of land for development. So, we need to go up to 10 per cent or to 15 per cent today. Everyone needs a house, you cannot stop them from having a house. It is their right," the Deputy Chief Minister said. 

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