Hundreds of CPI-M workers converged at the Azad Maidan in Panaji capital city of Goa after winding through the main streets of the city on Wednesday morning demanding immediate resumption of legal mining and compensation to the people affected directly or indirectly due to ban on mining operations in the state. They also demanded formation of Goa Mineral Development Corporation.
CPIM Central Committee member and CITU All India President Com Tapan Sen charged political parties for alleged mining irregularities in the state as well as in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Com. Sen stated that private mining firms and government officials are responsible for the present mining industry crisis and as such they should be brought to book and punished accordingly for the mining scam.
He demanded immediate resumption of legal mining or some kind of assistance to those who are directly or indirectly affected by halting of mining operations. "The initiative should come from the central government as well as from state government to compensate these stakeholders of mining industry," he stated. He further said that nearly one lakh workers have been affected due to ban on mining and if there are four members in a family then the equation comes to nearly four lakh people and added that this is a very big number for a small state like Goa. He said that mine owners are now shying away from their responsibility and are well aware that there is no demand for iron ore either in European or Chinese markets so they are silent and "once the demand goes up then slowly they will reopen and export the ore for better price." "This is not the case of Goa alone similar situation is prevailing throughout the nation wherever there are mines and ore is being expor ted," he stated. He said that if Goan ore extraction is 67 million tonnes per year the mines will be exhausted or closed for want of ore. He said it should be streamlined through formation of Goa Mineral Development Corporation.
CPI-M Goa State Secretary Com Thalmann Pereira cautioned that if legal mining was not resumed with immediate effect they would make ‘life miserable’ for the concerned ministers and MLAs. Com. Jatin Naik and Com. Sugandhi Francis vice-president of Akhil Bhartiya Janwadi Mahila Sanghatana, also spoke.