Current Affairs

War of Words Broke Out on Goa Illegal Mining in Assembly

Leader of Opposition and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Manohar Parrikar and Health Minister, Vishwajeet Rane entered into a war of words over the illegal mining during the Zero Hour at the ongoing Goa legislative assembly session.

The Health Minister maintained that he was being unnecessarily linked by the media to the scam. “I am being linked to the (illegal mining) trade without any reason.”

Pointing out to the allegations made by Parrikar, the Minister claimed BJP leaders were themselves involved in the mining illegalities.

The issue of illegal mining was raised in the Assembly by Parrikar, who alleged a particular firm has been moving mining dumps in violation of norms. He demanded strict action against the mining firms not obeying Government orders.

Goa Assembly Speaker Pratapsingh Rane today appealed to the House members “not to blame or name anybody” unnecessarily in relation to the multi-crore illegal mining scam as it would bring a bad name to the state even as Government warned of action against firms violating norms.

Rane said “strict action should be taken against illegal mining activity as Goa’s name is being spoilt” but asked the legislators to refrain from “blaming or naming anybody” irrespective of the names carried in the media.

Goa Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which has extensively investigated the illegal mining trade in the state, has pegged the scam at Rs 4,000 crore.

Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, responding to the discussion, said the Government will come down heavily on those violating norms. “If required, we will suspend operation of the mining leases,” he added.

Rane said he was being chased by the media for his comments on the illegal mining episode in light of the damning PAC report.

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