Representatives of 27 village panchayats from the mining belt in Goa on Thursday met Governor Satya Pal Malik seeking his intervention for immediate resumption of the iron ore mining industry.
They impressed upon Malik that the mining closure has taken a toll on the livelihood and the mental health of the people dependent on it.
Speaking to media persons outside the Raj Bhavan after meeting the Governor, Amey Kakodkar, who accompanied the representatives of the 27 village panchayats, said the mining closure has not only affected the economic health of the state but has also been taking a toll on mental wellbeing of the mining dependants.
He said the 27 panchayats cover 1.3 lakh population in the mining belt.
“The Governor gave a patient hearing to the grievances of these panchayat bodies, which are also facing a financial crisis owing to the drop in revenue collections after the mining closure. We are hopeful of Governor’s intervention, which would help resume mining activities in the state… He has shown a positive approach towards the entire issue,” Kakodkar said.
The mining industry in the state has come to a standstill after the Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases in 2018.
He said the banks operating in the mining belt have also been suffering as loans have become non-performing assets as the mining dependants are selling
off assets to tide over the economically distressful times.
“The people living along the mining belt have banked on the industry for their livelihood for the last three-four generations,” he said, adding that the mining closure has been causing depression among the villagers, which in turn, has fueled domestic violence.