Panaji, Feb 18 (IANS) There is no assurance from the Central government about resumption of mining, banned in Goa by the Supreme Court in February last year, and a solution to the crisis has to be worked out only at the state level, Goa’s Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters after attending a cabinet meeting at Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s private residence near Panaji, Sardesai said that during the meeting the issue of mining resumption was discussed.
“We are asked by citizens and we discussed (but) we do not have answers. We discussed it with the CM. He feels nothing is coming from Centre. State-level solution has to be worked,” Sardesai told reporters, when asked if the issue of mining resumption was taken up at the cabinet meeting.
The mining ban issue has been hanging fire ever since the Supreme Court banned extraction and transportation of iron ore from 88 mining leases in February last year. The apex court also directed the state government to re-issue mining leases.
MLAs as well as the Goa Mining People’s Front, a lobby of mining-affected people, have launched a campaign against the government seeking a solution to the mining ban ever since the apex court banned the activity.
After repeatedly pressuring BJP MLAs and MPs, members of the Front met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but were unhappy with Modi’s assurance that he would “look into the matter”.
The Congress, meanwhile, has also stepped up its attack on the BJP for failing to resolve the mining deadlock, despite heading governments both in Goa as well as at the Centre.