Goa minister Sudin Dhavalikar has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the issue of delay in resumption of iron ore mining operations in the state. Dhavalikar, the seniormost minister in Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s Cabinet, Wednesday said he was hopeful that the Centre would be able to resolve problems of the coastal state’s mining industry.
“I had assured those dependent on the mining industry that I will take up their issues with the prime minister. So, I have written to the prime minister seeking his appointment,” the minister told PTI. “Only the Centre can provide a solution to the current crisis in the mining industry,” said Dhavalikar, the leader of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, which is an ally of the ruling BJP in Goa.
The mining operations, a key source of revenue to the government, came to a standstill in March last year following a Supreme Court order which quashed 88 mining leases. The BJP-led state government has requested the Centre to amend the existing mining laws during the ongoing session of Parliament so that leases get extended.
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The Goa Mining People’s Front, an umbrella group of mining dependents – whose livelihood has been affected – had recently staged three-day protests in New Delhi demanding resumption of mining activities in the state.