Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said the Supreme Court order halting mining in Goa was a vindication of the steps initiated by his government in response to the Shah Commission report.
Talking to journalists here, he said the government was yet to get the court order but, after the Centre had tabled the Commission report in Parliament, it on September 10 suspended all mining operations and banned ore transport in both districts — North Goa and South Goa — thereafter.
On Wednesday, the government set up a high-power committee headed by a retired High Court judge to go into the Shah report, take appropriate steps, issue due notice to all parties and advise the government on the course of action with an 8-week time frame.
The terms of reference of the committee would be notified on Monday.
To a question on the situation in Goa in comparison with Karnataka, where also the court had banned mining, Mr. Parrikar said that while in the neighbouring State, the then government was alleged to have been involved in mining scam, here “even my worst enemies will not say I have given permission for illegal mining or my government is in any way associated with illegal mining.”
The Chief Minister said, “If the Central Empowered Committee approaches us we will give them all the information,” indicating the government’s desire to see that legal mining starts as early as possible.
In reply to another question over anxiety building up among the stakeholders such as truck owners, barge owners and mining-machinery owners over the indefinite suspension of the operations, Mr. Parrikar said, “We have already sought data of all stakeholders and once that comes we will work out relief packages. I have already spoken to bankers and financial institutions in this regard.”
Diversion of trucks
In another development, the Chief Minister said, “mining people from Karnataka have approached us for exporting Karnataka ore from Goa.”
At least 20-25 per cent of trucks and some barges would be diverted for transporting Karnataka ore to Goa for exports, he said.