Congress blames BJP for the mining ban

Panaji: Goa’s Congress unit on Saturday accused the ruling BJP-led governments both in the coastal state and at the Centre, of not being serious about restarting mining operations, while also accusing ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of derailing the sector.

Addressing the media here, Goa Congress spokesperson Yatish Naik also said that the BJP had misled the people dependent on the mining industry by making repeated false promises about its resumption in the politically sensitive hinterland of Goa.

“It needs to be noted that since February 7, 2018, the state government and the Central government have miserably failed to resolve the state’s mining issue by bringing about a legally sustainable solution as both are in deep slumber,” Naik said.

The Supreme Court banned extraction and transportation of iron ore from 88 mining leases in February 2018. Mining was first temporarily banned in 2012 by Parrikar, following the Rs 35,000 crore illegal mining scam unearthed by the Justice M.B. Shah Commission.

The apex court had also directed the state government to re-issue mining leases.

Parrikar during a cabinet meeting earlier this week had said that there was no concrete assurance from the Centre for taking steps to resume mining in Goa and that the state government would have to find a way to resolve the crisis on its own.