After drawing a flak for causing damage to the state infrastructure due to incessant mining activity in Goa, the local ore exporters have come up with a novel way to offset the impact.
Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA), which had constructed a Rs 25 crore bridge from own funding, has now undertaken a Rs 32 crore project of widening a 10-km-long stretch crucial for mining traffic.
The project would be entirely funded by the mining exporters depending on the tonnage carried on the road by them.
“Those who carry more ore will pay more and less will pay less. It will also depend on how much length of the road is used by the exporter,” said GMOEA Secretary Glenn Kalavampara.
The mineral ore exporters ship around 54 million metric tonnes annually from the coastal state.
The road connects Usgaon village to Navelim, a place where half a dozen jetties are located.
The ore is usually offloaded from trucks before being loaded on barges that ferry the produce to various ports at these jetties.
According to Kalavampara, almost 12 million metric tonnes of ore is transported through this road which is riddled with potholes.
Goa Government which is struggling to manage the road infrastructure due to mining activity has allowed the mining firms to invest in the projects.
Chief Minister Digambar Kamat had told the State Legislative Assembly that the projects like mining corridors would be financed by the mining firms.
Mr. Kalavampara said financing of the Usgaon road project would be done through two sources.
“The members of GMOEA will be giving money through the association while other traders will have to pay through the jetties, which they use to offload the ore,” he said.
There are 12 exporters using this road who are registered with GMOEA while 20 other exporters will pay through half a dozen jetties, Mr. Kalavampara said.
Local legislator Pratap Gawas told PTI that those traders (exporters) who refuse to shell out money for the project would not be allowed to use the road.
“We can not make some companies bleed and rest enjoy the fruits,” he said, adding the project is expected to be completed by December.
According to State government officials, the existing stretch which is 5.5 metres wide would be widened to 10 metres, and is expected to meet requirement of the mining traffic for at least next five years.