Suggest solution to mining crisis, Goa BJP tells Congress

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Panaji, May 31 (IANS) Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik on Thursday said Goa’s opposition party Congress should suggest a solution to the mining impasse in the coastal state.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Naik said that the March ban on mining by the Supreme Court was causing immense hardship to people in the mining belt in Goa.

“A solution is important. Who comes up with a solution is not important. Let them (Congress) come to us with a solution to resolve the mining crisis. We will definitely consider it,” Naik, a Lok Sabha MP from North Goa, told reporters here.

A delegation of state Ministers and legislators had gone to Delhi on Thursday to lobby with central Ministers and law officers to resolve the issue.

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“The delegation met Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and the Attorney General of India. They may also meet BJP President Amit Shah and even try to meet PMO officials. Everyone is trying their best to resolve the problem,” Naik said.

In response, Goa Congress Spokesperson Dayanand Sopte said that the ruling party was “playing” with the sentiments of those affected by the mining ban.

“They are in power both in the state and at the Centre and still have the audacity to ask us for a solution to the problem. This is a very, very bad joke on the people of Goa, especially those in the mining belt,” Sopte told IANS.

The Supreme Court banned extraction and transportation of iron ore from 88 leased sites from March, and also directed the state to re-issue the mining leases.

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The is the second time in less than a decade that all mining in Goa came to a standstill, after a similar ban in 2012. The earlier ban was lifted by the apex court in 2014, but the court imposed fresh restrictions while flaying the state for messing up the lease renewal processes.

–IANS

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