Stakeholders of mining industry in Goa have requested the Supreme Court-appointed Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) to submit its report on illegal mining early, for quick resumption of mining extraction and export in the state.
The three-member committee, which was directed to give its report within four weeks, met various stakeholders including mine owners, barge owners, truck operators, bank representatives and people dependent on the mining industry.
On October 5, mining operations in all the 90 mines in Goa were ordered to be halted by the Supreme Court on the basis of the Justice M.B.Shah Commission report which estimated a whopping Rs 35,000 crore to the exchequer due to illegal mining in the last 12 years.
South Goa Truck Owners Association member Vinayak Gawas, who was the part of delegation that met CEC, said the committee was requested to give their report as early as possible so that the mining activity can resume.
“We told the committee that when we purchased trucks to carry ore, we were not knowing whether ore was legal or illegal. We have ended up in huge borrowings and have given collateral securities,” Sawant added.
The truck owners have feared spate of suicides if the activity remains halted for next few months. The mine owners who met the committee refused to divulge what was discussed in the meeting.
“I have nothing to comment because inquiry is a part of judicial process. The matter is subjudice,” Shivanand Salgaoncar, President, Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association told reporters last night.
All Goa Barge Owners Association President Atul Jadhav said that total 350-odd barges operating for mining industry would be rendered useless, if the activity does not resume.
“There are 6,000 crew members and 30,000 people dependent on ancillary industry related to barges,” Jadhav said.
The bankers too feared collapse if mining does not start.
Ulhas Phaldesai, Chairman, Goa State Cooperative Bank, said total 1,700 trucks have been loaned by the bank to truckers which amounts to exposure of Rs 65 crore.