Cavorim villagers today morning marched to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat’s residence in Margao to protest against the restarted mine which the villagers claim to be illegal.
A mob of about 200 villagers of Cavorim gathered outside chief minister’s residence demanding closure of the mine, after which the chief minister called a group of five members to meet him.
After meeting the chief minister, one of the villagers, Nilesh Gaonkar informed that the Chief Minister directed the Goa State Pollution Control Board and Directorate of Mines to look into the matter and stop the mining activities immediately.
He informed that two months back, these mining activities were stopped but it has started all over again now. He said: “until the order is passed, we will not go home. We are the sufferers. These mining activities will lead to the destruction of our village.
The villagers also threatened to go on a hunger strike if the mining activities are not stopped. “We want the mine to be closed. We need a final decision on this. This is the last time that we are meeting the chief minister”, Nilesh said.
Nilesh informed that the mine owner has started his illegal activities and hired about 25 bouncers to threaten the villagers who go to the mine. He said that even though the villagers have brought these illegal mining activities to the notice of government officials, no action has been taken against it. “This proves that somebody is pressurizing these officials”, he said.
“Government will be responsible if anything wrong takes place as we have already informed the government about the ill-effects of mining”, he said.
The villagers then went to the Goa State Pollution Control Board when Chairman Simon D’Souza assured them that the mine’s ‘Consent to Operate’ will not be renewed.