Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF), which has been at the forefront of the on-going people’s movement to protect livelihood of 3, 00,000 Goans in the State, urged the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modiji for his immediate intervention to prevent a third consecutive year without livelihood opportunities for 3,00,000 Goans on account mining stoppage State Government has itself mentioned on various occasions that the yearly loss on account of mining stoppage amounts to Rs. 3500 Crore Per year and as such the cumulative loss faced by the State of Goa would stand at a staggering Rs. 10,500 Crores at the very lease.
All mining activities in the state were ceased with effect from March 15, 2018 following the Supreme Court’s decision. Hon’ble Prime Minister and various other national leaders have publicly acknowledged the severe impacts due to the stoppage of Mining and had assured the relief in the form of immediate resumption of mining in Goa but 3,00,000 Goans are still awaiting positive news on account of mining activities resumption for the past 29 months. If an immediate solution is not found, the fate of Goans will languish amid a global economic slowdown during a pandemic.
Highlighting the issue, Mr. Puti Gaonkar, President, GMPF said, “It’s been more around 29 months that 3,00,000 Goans have faced issues regarding to lack of livelihood opportunities. One fifth of Goa’s population is dependent on mining and this year’s mining season will supposed to just after monsoon however we are afraid that a third consecutive year would be lost when we would not be able earn a living and fullfill the basic necessities of their children and family. We would therefore urge the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Narendra Modiji, undertake necessary policy reforms as suggested by the Government of Goa to enable mining resumption in the State.”
“The State’s economy presently is at its most precarious position due to the total collapse of Tourism sector in the backdrop of the Covid – 19 Pandemic. The sector is unlikely to recover for the next 18 months Mining activities in the State of Goa are inherently dependent upon internal resources and manpower as such is uniquely placed to give the much needed boost to the State Economy.” Added Puti.
Goa Mining dependents are still waiting for ray of hope which could be only possible through immediate resumption of Goa Mining. Though festival season is on, in the state of Goa with the arrival of Ganesh but over three lakh Mining dependents are still struggling for their livelihoods and resumption of Goa mining industry will be a real festive occasion for all Mining dependent population.
“We would want to congratulate the newly appointed Hon’ble Governor of Goa, Shri Bharat Singh Koshyariji on taking up this reputed office. We would request him to highlight the livelihood crisis of Goans before the Central government for immediate actions to be taken. We are also obliged to the former governor of Goa, Shri Satya Pal Malik for his act of mobilising a righteous course of action to protect the livelihoods of lakhs of Goans during his tenure as the Governor of Goa. We request the Hon’ble Prime Minister to consider the appeals made by the Governor and Chief Minister of Goa to safeguard our livelihoods by allowing mining activities to resume in the state.” Added Mr. Balaji Gawas, Vice- President of GMPF.
Over the past two years, mining dependents have met and submitted various appeals/representations/memorandums seeking intervention and action from the authorities at the State and Centre level for early resumption of Mining in the State of Goa. GMPF has among others met and briefed Honourable President of India, Honourable Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, Union Mines Minister, Union Law Minister, Chief Minister of Goa, various MP’s cutting across party lines, and bureaucrats at Centre and State to take note of the plight of the people of Goa.