Jan 16: Asserting that the government will complete the mining auction process related to all the 86 mining leases in the state within three months, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said Goa has witnessed how mining-dependent people have suffered after mining was shut down in the state.
Speaking at the ‘Reboot Mining-Heralding New Era’ function in Sankhali, organised by the Directorate of Mines and Geology to distribute letters of intent to the successful bidders of four iron ore blocks namely Vedanta, Fomento, Rajaram Bandekar Mines Pvt. Ltd. and Salgaocar Mining, Sawant said the Supreme Court has granted permission for dump mining and that the state government is formulating a policy for it.
“There are various types of dumps in government and private properties and also outside and inside the leases. All these dumps which were then rejected ore will be auctioned without hampering the environment,” he said and added that the government is making all efforts to start sustainable mining in the state.
He urged all the four successful bidders to re-employ all those who were rendered jobless during the ban on mining.
Sawant said the government was the only one to support the mining dependents through various schemes by way of financial aid for two years when mining was shut down. He said financial help was provided to truck owners and persons who lost their jobs due to the closure of mining. “Government also provided `35 lakh to each barge owner under the state government’s one-time settlement scheme,” the Chief Minister said.
Stating that the government has consistently followed up the case for revival of the mining industry in the state, Sawant said the revival will provide employment opportunities in mining areas apart from providing a fillip to boost the overall economy of the state.
“We have successfully solved the issue of mining and Mopa airport,” the Chief Minister said and added that the ongoing Mhadei dispute too will be resolved soon. “The Mhadei issue has been going on since the last 30 years.
The way this issue is being legally and technically handled, we will definitely win it,” he said. Member of Parliament Vinay Tendulkar stated that a new era has begun for the mining sector in Goa and all the credit goes to the Chief Minister and his government for its success.
“Some people were thinking that mining will not start in Goa again but a lot of hard work has made it possible to begin a new era of mining in Goa,” he said and congratulated Sawant.
Minister for Social Welfare Subhash Phal Dessai also spoke on the occasion. Present on the occasion were MLAs Dr. Ganesh Gaonkar and Premendra Shet, Principal Secretary Finance Dr. V. Candavelou IAS, Advocate General Devidas Pangam and other dignitaries.
Vedanta Limited has won the bid for Bicholim-Mulgao mining block in North Goa, while Salgaocar Shipping Company Pvt. Ltd. has won the bid for the Shirigao-Mayem mineral block, also in North Goa. Rajaram Bandekar Pvt. Ltd. has successfully bagged the bid for Monte-de-Sirigao mining block in North Goa, while the fourth block comprising Kalay mines in South Goa has been won by Sociedade De Fomento Industries Private Limited.
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