Union Minister Suresh Prabhu assured people of Goa that the “next government” will definitely solve state’s vexed mining issue for the sake of the social cost of those affected by the shutdown.
Prabhu, who is in the coastal state for a series of campaign meetings said, he couldn’t promise “what the solution could be.”
“I will not tell you today, on the eve of the election what could be the solution. But the new government will definitely work towards to finding an enduring solution to the problem, purely the social aspect of it taking into account the miseries the people are suffering,” Prabhu said.
“Mining can be done in a manner that does not compromise with the environment. Most important for me is the social cost that people dependent on mining had to suffer innumerable miseries. Therefore, we are committed to that the solution can be legal, can be administrative, can be legislative. We will look into all possible aspects. The new government, working with the local government,” he added.
The Goa mining industry, which claims that the shutdown has directly and indirectly affected around three lakh people initially held out hope that parliament would pass amendments to extend the validity of Goa’s mining leases, whose renewals were cancelled by the Supreme Court bringing mining to a halt in March 15 last year.
Assurances from the BJP, central government, including the Prime Minister have led to an expectation in the province that the matter would be resolved before the Lok Sabha polls.
Both Goa’s MPs Shripad Naik and Narendra Sawaikar had promised that the issue would be resolved before the Lok Sabha elections. However, all they have to show is an interlocutory application the central government has filed before the Supreme Court to revive a 1997 case filed by Goa’s mining companies challenging the constitutional validity of the Goa Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration as Leases) Act, 1987.
The Congress has accused the BJP of repeatedly giving false promises to those dependent on mining while at the same time doing nothing over the past year to solve the mining issue.
Apr 16, 2021 21:22 IST