[India], March 14 (ANI): Over 2000 people, who depend on mining, launched a protest march on Thursday accusing the state government of not being serious on the issue of resumption of work at the mines.
The protesters, led by Puti Gaonkar, also submitted a memorandum to Chief Secretary Parimal Rai, requesting the government to take requisite measure on the issue.
"You are fully aware of the fact that due to the closure of the mines more than 31 lakh mining dependents are suffering since past one year," read the memorandum.
"The closure of mining industry in the state has had a devastating socio-economic effect on the livelihood of all mining dependent people and entities and is also impacting the economy of the state adversely," the memorandum read.
"Stopping of mining activities will gravely affect the state exchequer, as nearly 30 per cent of revenues from mining is provided to the state exchequer in the form of Goa Permanent Fund(GPF) (10 per cent of sale price), Royalty (15 per cent). District Mineral Fund (DMF) (4.5 per cent of royalty), National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) (0.3 per cent of royalty) by the mining companies," the memorandum added.
Based on a few public interest litigations filed by three different petitioners, the Supreme Court on February 7 last year quashed the lease renewals. In effect, it restored the earlier position that all mining after November 22, 2007 were illegal.
In October 2012, the apex court suspended all iron ore mining and transportation in the state following a report submitted by Justice MB Shah Commission, which found that millions of tonnes of iron ore were mined illegally.
The report stated that illegal mining was being carried out in conspiracy with the state government including then Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, which had pegged the losses to the exchequer at about Rs 35,000 crore.
In 2015, the State government renewed 88 mining leases, all owned by those who were accused of illegal mining. (ANI)