Goa's shipping industry urges Sharad Pawar to restart mining



Panaji (Goa): Goa's shipping industry which is facing a bleak future due to the halt in the mining exports on Friday sought the intervention of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to ensure restarting of the mining operations.

The All Goa Barge (ship) Owners' Association (AGBOA) members met Pawar in a hotel near here, with a request to make efforts to ensure that regulated mining is restarted.

"We request you to make efforts to ensure that legal regulated mining is permitted and the ban on exports of cargo dumps is lifted, so that 50 million tonnes of export is achieved to ensure our survival," AGBOA president Atul Jadhav said in the memorandum.

The Supreme Court has put on hold the transportation and extraction of ore in the state, due to large scale illegal mining during the past seven years.

Jadhav claimed that the halt in mining has been catastrophic for 60 per cent of Goa's population who are directly or indirectly dependent on mining.

"Goa handles 80 per cent of the all India water transport cargo and no markets exist outside Goa to absorb the large number of barges which have been idle," he said.

The Goa barge industry employs 6000 as crew and 30,000 are employed in ancillary industries related to it. Halt in mining would lead to large scale retrenchment, he said.

He said that the barge owners' exposure to various banks is Rs 350 crores, and delay in payments would force banks to confiscate collateral sureties which are in the form of residences.

PTI