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Goa Mining Industry Pins Hope On Manohar Parrikar To Resolve Crisis

Manohar Parrikar, 62, is scheduled to return to Goa tonight. (File)

Goa:  The people dependent on the mining industry in Goa are hoping that their operations, which came to a standstill from March 16, will resume once Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar returns to the state.

Mr Parrikar, 62, is scheduled to return to Goa tonight after his over three-month-long stay in the US, where he had gone to undergo treatment for his pancreatic ailment.

“As Parrikar is slated to return, people feel that a solution for the mining crisis would be worked out,” Puti Gaonkar, president of Goa Mining People’s Front, an umbrella organisation of the people hit by the closure of mining industry in Goa, said.

“All these months, the government was without a head and the three-member Cabinet Advisory Committee could not provide a solution for the mining crisis,” he added.

The iron ore mining industry in the state came to a grinding halt after the top court set aside the second renewal granted to 88 mining leases, which were granted time to manage their affairs till March 15.

“In the absence of any decision maker in the state, the issue could not be resolved and it was kept pending,” Mr Gaonkar said.

“Now the decision maker is going to return and he should solve the issue as soon as possible as people are suffering,” he said.

According to Mr Gaonkar, the mining dependents have also decided to try to meet Mr Parrikar and brief him about the ground realities in the mining belt.

“Those affected by the closure of the industry will certainly try to meet the CM as soon as possible. We are trying to get his appointment. He was away from India and might not know how people are suffering since the closure of mining industry,” he said.

Mr Gaonkar said the mining dependents would continue their protests at various places in the state.

“The protests will continue till we get the solution for the crisis,” he said.

Goa Mining People’s Front has begun an indefinite sit-in at five different places in the state, including Azad Maidan in Panaji. It has warned to take out a march to the Legislative Assembly on the first day of the session, if their demands are not met. 

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