Anxious over delay in resumption of mining activity in the State, the Goa State Committee of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central Government to take pro-active steps to ensure immediate resumption of mining operations in Goa.
Significantly, the call comes ahead of Mr. Modi’s maiden visit to the State on Saturday.
Simultaneously, the AITUC has pleaded with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to positively intervene in the on-going mining crisis by immediately formulating a transparent mining policy including that for allotment of fresh mining leases and protecting the jobs and the service-conditions and livelihood of thousands of mining workers employed in various mining establishments in Goa.
Senior trade Union leader Christopher Fonseca, General Secretary of AITUC, Goa who had led 18-month-long agitation of the stakeholders demanding resumption of mining in Goa, on Thursday demanded that mining be resumed in a sustainable manner within the parameters f the Supreme Court Judgment of April 20 which partially lifted its ban on iron ore mining in the State allowing a cap of 20 million tonnes of extraction per annum.
Referring to the assurances given by the BJP ahead of Lok Sabha polls 2014 in this regard, Mr. Fonseca recalled that the people in Goa, and particularly the mining dependents including mining workers, truckers, etc., came out in large numbers and decisively voted in the in the election in the fond hope that the mining operations in Goa will resume immediately.
“The complete mining-ban in Goa effective since the last 22months has devastated the lives and livelihood of tens of thousands of mining dependents in the State,” lamented Mr. Fonseca.
Describing the problem as “deepening socio-economic crisis”, Mr. Fonseca demanded State intervention to protect the livelihood of the mining- affected.
Goa annually exported nearly nearly 50 million tonnes of ore in the private sector ahead of ban, which came in the wake of massive illegal mining activities including exports. The lack of resumption of mining continues to hit seven of its mining belt taluks and major port of Mormugao Port Trust directly.