The mining dependents, under the banner of Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) today staged a protest march near Panaji, and slammed the government for not showing seriousness in resuming mining operations in the state.
GMPF chief Puti Gaonkar addressed the people and said that the state government should file an affidavit in the supreme court seeking amendments to the Goa, Daman and Diu Mining Leases (Abolition of Mining Concessions and Declaration as Mining Leases) Act 1987 to make it apply prospectively.
Gaonkar said that this process would automatically extend the lease period of Goa’s iron ore leases — which have lapsed since 2007 — till 2037.
“The mining resumption is going at a slow pace because the government is not taking it seriously,” Gaonkar said. Gaonkar further said that the Assistant Solicitor General, Atmaram Nadkarni, who represented the case in the Supreme Court, should be replaced with a senior counsel because he wants the mining leases auctioned and not renewed as mining dependants want.