Panaji, December 4 (GCCurrentAffairs): With the annoying delays in mining resumption, the people dependent on the industry and opposition parties have expressed their reservations over Central and State government’s willingness to bring this industry back on the track.
Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) and Opposition Congress party has said that the BJP leaders including Members of Parliament, who are elected from Goa, are not pushing enough to get the Amendment to Mining Act passed in the Parliament, that could resume the activity.
BJP Goa Unit President Vinay Tendulkar has however, ruled out the allegations claiming that “enough is being done to ensure that the Amendment to the mining laws are taken up on the floor of the Parliament.”
State is witnessing a complete halt in its Iron Ore mining industry after Supreme Court in the month of February this year quashed 88 mining leases.
GMPF President Puti Gaonkar said that the union had to follow up the matter with Centre as all the three MPs – Shripad Naik (LS), Narendra Sawaikar (LS) and Vinay Tendulkar (RS) – have failed to do it periodically.
“I went thrice to Delhi and realized that the file seeking amendment to the mining law is not moving. I realized that our MPs are not doing anything,” said Gaonkar, who has met union ministers including Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar besides others in Delhi during his visits.
“Every time, we have to follow up the matter. When I visited Delhi on November 29, the file was still in the office of Union minister of Mines,” he said.
Gaonkar said that BJP do not have political will to push the files. “If BJP leaders wanted, they could have got the file processed expeditiously,” he said.
The union leader said that the mining dependents who are irked with the BJP will now start visiting the private residences of party’s MLAs asking them to pay for their monthly wages.
Gaonkar demanded that the BJP MPs should hold meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Party’s National President Amit Shah along with the stakeholders to ensure that the mining act is amended.
The stakeholders and State government is looking at amending Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and Goa, Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration of Mining leases Act, 1987) to the existing mining leases will have life extended up to the year 2037.
State’s main opposition Congress party has joined chorus with the mining dependents. Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President Girish Chodankar said that entire plot behind sabotaging the mining industry was to keep the ‘bahujan samaj’ (lower caste) economically weak.
He said that the BJP was fooling people in the name of mining resumption to gain votes.”
“BJP is not serious in allowing mines to start. They are only doing the drama to show that they are interested in starting the mining,” Chodankar alleged.
When contacted, Tendulkar said that State and Central government are doing enough to ensure that the mining resumes.
On asked whether the amendment would be moved during upcoming Parliamentary Session, Tendulkar remained non-committal.
“We will have to see. We are trying our level best to get it for the upcoming Parliamentary Session. We are trying our level best,” he replied.
The BJP leader said that all the MPs are trying their best. “No one knows to what extend we have been trying. The move for resumption of mining activity is heading in a proper direction,” he said.