A delegation of ministers and MLAs in Goa on Wednesday called on Governor Mridula Sinha at Raj Bhavan here and urged her to take up the mining issue of the state with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and union ministers.
Speaking to reporters after meeting the Governor, Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Sudin Dhavlikar, who was part of the delegation, said,”We have requested her to take up the issue with the Prime Minister’s Office. We are looking to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Union Mines Minister’s office to take decision and rescue those people linked to the mining industry, who will face a lot of hardship due to the closure of mines.”
The Supreme Court had on February 7 set aside the mining lease renewals granted to several miners by the state government. There were a total of 88 mining lease renewals allowed by the Goa Government. A division bench of the top court, headed by Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur, had set aside the state government’s order renewing lease licences to several mining companies in the state.
Dhavalikar expressed apprehensions that if mines were auctioned, the mining operations would be closed for a year. He said the auction process would be long and would take several months to resume mining operations.
“If mines are auctioned, the mining will be shut down for a year,” he said.
A delegation of MLAs from Goa led by State Public Works Department (PWD) Dhavalikar had, on March 5, 2018, met Union Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi to urge the union government to find way forward for the mining resumption in the state in the wake of Supreme Court cancelling 88 mining leases and directing to stop all mining activities after March 15 in the state.
The delegation comprising Dhavalikar, Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker Dr Pramod Sawant, BJP MLAs Rajesh Patnekar and Nilesh Cabral, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLA Deepak Pawaskar, Congress MLA Nilkanth Halarnkar, independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane and South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar handed over a memorandum to Gadkari.
Some of the delegation members had also called on Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. They are likely to visit Delhi on March 9 again.