Continuing their battle for early resumption of mining activity in the state, Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) has decided to take a morcha to the Secretariat on March 14 urging the state government to take up legal battle to restart mining activity.
President of GMPF Puti Gaonkar announced this on Saturday at a press briefing in Ponda. Other members of GMPF were present during the briefing.
“After the implementation of code of conduct in the state, ministers will not have much power in their hands and the Chief Secretary will be in charge of the state affairs. Considering this, the GMPF has decided to take a morcha to the Secretariat, with a memorandum to the Chief Secretary to take up legal battle in the state’s mining matter,” said Gaonkar.
Stating that the morcha will be a peaceful one, Gaonkar said that over 10,000 mining dependants will gather at the Azad Maidan in Panaji and then march towards the Secretariat.
The GMPF members also reiterated that they will campaign against the ruling coalition government in the state during the bypolls and the parliamentary election. “We are firm with our demands and we will campaign to teach a lesson to the MPs of BJP who have failed to take up the mining matter before the central leaders,” said GMPF members.
Explaining about the legal fight the state should support, Gaonkar said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured the mining dependants to resolve the mining issue through a legal procedure and added that the state government has a chance to do the same during the upcoming Supreme Court hearing.
Mining companies had filed a case in the Supreme Court challenging the Goa, Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration as Mining Leases) Act and final hearing related to the case is due in some days. Considering this, the state government has a chance to file an affidavit before the Supreme Court regarding
its resolution in Assembly wherein the state had resolved to amend the Act, Gaonkar said.
He further said that the state should form its own council and file its say before the apex court. If the case goes in the favour of state, it will give life to mining leases until 2037, resolving the mining issue, Gaonkar said.
“For this purpose, the mining dependants are ready to collect funds and support the government, if it has the willingness to fight the legal battle,” said Gaonkar and added “if state government is really concerned about the mining dependants, it should at least do this.”