Chief minister Manohar Parrikar has said that as per police reports things have reached boiling point in the mining belt of Goa and that it won’t be a surprise if violence breaks out or suicides are committed in the future. He also said that due to closure of mining, the water table has decreased in the state.
“Goan people are very peaceful, but things are boiling slowly as per a police report. If you find violence or suicide don’t be surprised,” Parrikar said, speaking to mediapersons at the secretariat on Wednesday. He also said that due to stoppage of water pumping from mining pits and its release in the river, water table has decreased in the state.
“We (government) are planning to pump water from mining pits to release it in the river otherwise there will be shortage of water in May,” Parrikar said, adding that water shortage was not because of the Goa government’s fault, but because mining had been closed. Replying to a point raised by Goa foundation in their affidavit, that the state government affidavit did not mention how environment was damaged due to mining, Parrikar said, “they (Goa foundation) should not worry about environment but I am worried about their safety.” He also said, “We have told the court that till an expert body is put in place, even if anybody wants to start mining operation in the state, I will not allow them to start.”
“There has to be an expert body which has to come out with a very clear plan of environmentally sustainable mining,” he added. Parrikar said that after getting Supreme Court approval they will start auctioning the mining dumps so that economic activities in the mining belt continue. Parrikar said, “In our affidavit, we have said that the state government will conduct a study on dumps lying on revenue land in next two to three months, and government authorities will be allowed to handle the dumps, which are environmentally approved.”
“Dumps, which are legal and viable, will be auctioned by the government,” he added. He also said that government is interested in exporting 25 lakh million tonnes of iron ore per year so that mining dependent people can get back their livelihood.