Protests in Goa against mining ban
Panaji: Thousands of people, affected by the halting of mining in Goa, Tuesday walked on the streets of Panaji demanding immediate resumption of the ore extraction activity, banned by a Supreme Court order.
The stakeholders of the mining industry, led by Goa Mining People's Front (GMPF), held a rally at the Azad Maidan here, asserting that the legal mines should be allowed to be operated as it was affecting the livelihood of more than three lakh people in the state.
"State's economy too is in doldrums due to halt in the mining activity. The state government may not agree but they have no money in the coffers to spend for the public schemes," GMPF and labour union leader Christopher Fonseca said while addressing the rally.
Some MLAs of the ruling BJP-led government representing mining belt were present at the rally and pledged their support to the protest.
Fonseca said that the concerned agencies, including Supreme Court, should consider the humanitarian point of view while deciding on the issue.
"People are getting affected. We are not supporting illegal mining but we want sustainable mining," he said.
Several other leaders, representing truck association, barge (ship) association and elected representatives also addressed the rally.
Earlier this morning, thousands of people gathered at the city's bus stand and later walked towards Azad Maidan, situated almost three kms away.
A resolution demanding immediate resumption of mining was adopted at the end of the protest rally which would be submitted to various agencies including the state government, central government and Supreme Court.
The apex court had halted extraction and transportation of ore in the state after the Justice M B Shah Commission pointed out glaring illegalities in the mining business.
The court has appointed a Central Empowered Committee (CEC) which has begun probe into the illegal mining in the state.