Surprising many with the sudden decision to order closure of all mines until further notice, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar notification to the mining companies states the following;
1. Orders suspension of all mining leases existing in state of Goa effective from 11th Sep 2012 till further notice.
2. Suspension of licenses does not effect trade and transportation of iron-ore already mined.
3. All such traders or lease holders should report in 7 days exact location of ore, quantity and grade, to Directorate of Mines.
4. Directorate of Mines to constitute team to inspect all iron-ore holding sites.
5. Clearance Committee to set up to inspect all aspect of mining (specific to each lease holders) who will scrutinize papers and allow mine to function for rest of the season only after getting approval from this committee.
However, many political analysts and activists believe that the sudden decision of the government is a smoke-screen to tide over the current impact of the Shah Commission report, which also partially indicts the current Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar.
Some also opine that it appears to be a back-door entry for mining companies with ‘mining dumps’ to export the iron-ore lying in these dumps as mined ore. Since, the government has not put a stop to trade or transportation of iron-ore.
It appears that will the immediate reaction from the people of Goa especially those affected in the mining belt would one of satisfaction, many mining activists living in these belts are skeptical, owing to the closeness of successive governments to the mining lobby.