Congress accuses Goa govt of 'backdoor legalisation' of mines



Panaji: Goa unit of Congress on Friday termed stamp duty collection by the state government as "backdoor legalisation of mines".

Speaking to reporters here, Congress spokesperson Sudip Tamankar alleged that the BJP government was collecting stamp duty from the mine owners whose fate was yet to be decided by the Supreme Court on illegal mining.

This was "a backdoor legalisation of the mines", he said.

He also alleged that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who also handles mines portfolio, was acting in the favour of mine operators.

Authorities have collected about Rs 200 crore for renewal of mine leases in the state, after BJP-led government came to power last March.

The Congress spokesperson also demanded that mine owners should be made to pay for the special road corridors, instead of government spending public money on them.

The state is planning special corridors to divert the mining truck traffic from the thickly populated areas to avoid pollution from ore dust.

Citing section 8 of Environmental Clearance Rules, Tamankar said maintenance of village roads is to be carried out by the mining companies.

PTI