Panaji (Goa) With only two days left for the mining industry in Goa to stop fresh extraction of ore, the mining stakeholders are groping in darkness as there is no solution in the sight.
State PWD minister Sudin Dhavalikar who is currently heading the government in absence of chief minister Manohar Parrikar has said that he will have to approach the centre for finding out the solution.
The Supreme Court order pronounced on February 7 had quashed 88 mining leases in the state asking them to stop extraction of fresh ore from March 15 onwards.
“There is no solution provided by the government. We have to know what is going to happen after March 15. People can’t be kept in darkness,” Nilkant Gawas, President, All Goa Truck Owners Association said today.
He said that the people dependent on mining industry are left completely in lurch as there’s no government in place.
“We are waiting and watching and we also know that there’s no solution in sight,” he said.
The government estimates that nearly two lakh people will be left jobless if mining industry shuts down.
State government has already drawn comprehensive plan to implement the Supreme Court order. The mining leases are asked to stop extraction of fresh ore from 7 pm ofMarch 15 onwards. All the mining machinery will also have to be moved out from the mining lease.
“The extraction of ore has already been stopped by majority mine owners after the SC order. There are only 6-7 small time players who are currently involved in the extraction of ore,” a senior official from Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association said. He said that the industry is in crisis as there’s no solution being worked out.
The mining stakeholders had met Dhavalikar yesterday with the demand to seek union government’s intervention in the matter.
“We will be able to find our solution for the crisis by March 31,” the minister told the stakeholders.
Goa has a limit of extracting 20 million metric tonnes of ore annually.
The total ore production for the financial year 2017-18 stood at 10.41 million tons as on date. The production period is restricted to only eight months of the year that is from April-May, October- December 2017 to January- March 2018.