Kejriwal promises rehab fund for mining affected in Goa

Panaji: AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today assured rehabilitation fund of Rs 400 crore for the “victims” of iron ore mining ban in place till 2014 in Goa.

“Those who became the victims of the mining ban, for them we would create Rs 400 crore separate funds for rehabilitation,” Kejriwal told a public meeting at Sakhalim constituency located in the ore rich mining belt.

Goa is going to polls on February 4.

During his speech, he accused both the Congress and the BJP of causing miseries to people living in mining belt.

“Between 2007-2012, Congress did so much corruption in the mining sector that Centre had to bring in (Justice M B) Shah Commission. The commission said there is Rs 36,000 crore scam in the mining sector,” the CM said.

Kejriwal said, “during 2012 election, (Manohar) Parrikar went door to door telling people that he will punish those involved in illegal mining,” he said, adding after coming to power the BJP threw the Shah Commission report in dust bin.

“No one was sent to jail. On the contrary what he (Parrikar as then CM) did was to shut down mining, leaving lakhs of people dependent on the business jobless,” Kejriwal alleged.

He said AAP will work for full fledged resumption of mining if voted to power.

“Mining should be done with honesty,” he said, adding the country cannot run without mining industry.

In its order in 2014, the Supreme Court had allowed an annual cap of 20 million tonnes of iron ore to be extracted in Goa which was banned by it for nearly one-and-a-half years.

The transportation and export of iron ore in Goa was stopped in October 2013 following a report of irregularities by the Justice Shah Commission.