Goa extractors call for govt intervention on sand mining ban

Panaji: Sand extractors from across Goa, who have been rendered jobless following a court order banning the activity, have now approached the state government seeking a legal way out.

Sand extractors have requested Chief Minister Digambar Kamat to treat their business as "dredging of river" and not "mining of sand".

"If you label the activity as dredging then it can continue without any legal hurdle. A similar model has been adopted in Maharashtra where certain section of rivers is given on auction for dredging from where sand is extracted," said NCP leader Jitendra Deshprabhu, who leads the sand extractors.

The delegation of extractors met Kamat on Monday with their solution.

The extractors stated that since May 14, when local administration seized their canoes and extraction equipments, they have been left jobless.

Kamat assured them that the state will find a solution to the issue within two days.

"I have asked them to give me two days. We will have to consult law department and (state) environment ministry," he said.

Sand extractors, who have been mining in the river belt almost since Portuguese era, had faced a setback when the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Pernem directed police to investigate complaints of corruption against government authorities for not acting against those involved in illegal sand extraction in coastal regulation zone (CRZ) areas in Pernem taluka.