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Mining imbroglio: govt to soon file review plea in SC

NT NETWORK

Panaji

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday told the state legislative assembly that the government will soon file a review writ petition before the Supreme Court on the mining imbroglio.

He said that e-auctioning of five million tonne of the extracted ore will begin from August 22, which will help restart mining activities like ore transportation.

Replying on demands, the Chief Minister reiterated that the government is serious about finding a solution to the mining issue, and as a first step the e-auctioning of five million tonne of the extracted ore will begin on August 22 and transportation of the ore will begin in October.

“Though actual extraction of iron ore will not start soon, activities like transportation of the e-auctioned ore will begin from October this year,” he said, adding that the government hopes to ready the dump mining policy by October.

Sawant also said the government will launch a scheme to help the retrenched mining workers.

As per the scheme, the monthly minimum amount of Rs 5,000 will be given to those workers who have lost
their jobs.

Over 1,500 mining workers will get benefit under the scheme, he said.

“This scheme will cover the period of one and half year from –  April 2018 to October 2019,” he explained, reiterating that the government will cooperate – as

regards lease grants – with those mining companies which will reinstate the retrenched staff.

The government has distributed Rs 300 crore under the umbrella scheme for mining dependants. Of Rs 300 crore, Rs 164 crore has been disbursed to the laid-off mining workers, Sawant informed.

The Chief Minister clarified that the government will file the review petition before the SC on the mining matter, and will simultaneously continue trying to find a solution – either in judicial or legislative way – in coordination with the central government.

“We have impressed upon the group of ministers headed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah that we should get an opportunity to go for the second renewal of leases under the Goa, Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration as Mining Leases) Act, 1987 with retrospective effect,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah are serious about Goa’s mining issue, he added. 

Sawant said the government has sought proposals under the district mineral fund from village panchayats coming under the mining belt to take up welfare steps as regards education of children, water supply, sanitation etc

The matter will be finalised at a meeting to be held within eight days.

“From August 15, we will able to utilise the DMF fund. Village panchayats can take up income generating activities,” he added.

The Chief Minister said the government will not neglect forests and has plans to take up revenue generating activities in forest areas.

The government has decided to review private forests issue in the interest of Goa and its people, he told the House.

“The government will review reports on private forests prepared by the Sawant-Karapurkar committee. An aerial survey will be conducted… We will hear out the landowners. After reviewing the matter, the government will submit a report before the National Green Tribunal on private forests,” he explained.

He informed that under the Goa Forest Development Corporation the government has decided to come out with a new scheme wherein cashew plantations will be auctioned to groups of people for five to ten years so that maintenance and new plantation of cashew can be taken up by locals.

The Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary will be spruced up, he said, adding that those daily wage workers who have completed five years of service in the forest department and the GFDC will be given ‘temporary status’ before their service is regularised.

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