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Govt mulls tapping mines not covered by SC order

Panaji: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said that his government has already begun process to tap the iron ore mines which do not come  under the ambit of the Supreme Court’s February 7, 2018 order.

Out of the 300-odd mining leases in Goa, 88 leases have been in a legal obstacle after the SC ruling  quashed their second renewal issued in 2015 by the state government.

The particular  SC verdict  stopped mining operations in the state. The iron ore mining industry has been halted since March 2018,  affecting the livelihood of around two lakh people.

Sawant said the solution for  resuming operations at the 88 mining leases will be explored in the apex court, and that the state government has begun working with experts towards that end. 

“While exploring  a legal solution to the 88 mining leases, the government is also working on  reviving the iron ore industry by tapping mining leases that do not fall under the ambit of the SC order,” he explained.

Sawant said his government would ensure mining starts through legally-approved ways so that there are no more obstacles to the decades old industry.

“I have studied the matter in detail after taking over as the Chief Minister of the state. The government is working on an action plan to restart the mining industry. We are giving our 100 per cent to restart the mining industry in the state,” Sawant affirmed, adding that the mining dependants have faith in him for resolving the mining issue as he represents an assembly  constituency that comes under the mining belt.

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