Goa: Pawar meets pro-mining agitators
By John Edwards, Panaji, Feb 4 : Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Monday assured the pro-mining protesters to hold a meeting with the concerned central government departments to solve the problems faced due to the closure of mining industry. Pawar on Monday morning met the agitators who have staged a chain sit-in protest, for over a fortnight, demanding immediate resumption of mining activity.
The union minister promised to lead a delegation of people affected by mining closure to Delhi later this month.
"I support only legal mining and not the illegal one. I will call for a meeting of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Labour and Mines in Delhi in the next 8-10 days," he said addressing the agitators at Azad Maidan.
Hundreds of people including the barge and truck owners, under the banner Goa Mining People's Front (GMPF) are protesting the mining ban.
Pawar assured that Goa's case will be put before the Supreme Court properly, which is hearing a PIL by green NGO Goa Foundation pointing out large-scale illegalities in the State's mining activities.
The revenue generation from mining has dwindled since September 2012 after the Manohar Parrikar government ordered to halt the activities based on Justice Shah Commission' report that exposed illegalities to the tune of more than Rs 35,000 crores.