Mining dependents in Goa have made an appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his intervention to protect livelihood in the state by resuming mining operations there, the Goa Mining People's Front (GMPF) said recently.
"Over 50,000 mining dependents, including Goa Mining People's Front, Barge Owners Association and Truck Operators Association...have submitted their appeal through a 'Signature Campaign' to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his immediate intervention to protect livelihoods in the state by resuming mining operations in Goa," GMPF said in a statement.
In their appeal, the mining dependents sought necessary directives from the prime minister to the policy makers for restoring the livelihood of lakhs of people who are directly and indirectly dependent on mining for survival.
The Goa Mining People's Front (GMPF) is an umbrella body of mining dependents in the state.
GMPF President Puti Gaonkar said, "We request the Prime Minister to consider the appeals made by the Governor and Chief Minister of Goa to safeguard our livelihoods."
He added that over 50,000 mining dependents recently submitted an appeal to the office of prime minister through a 'signature campaign' and "the same is sent to Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for further action".
The present impasse of mining stoppage, coupled with COVID-19-induced challenges, has further worsened the situation for Goans with uncertainties over livelihood resumption looming high, Gaonkar said.
The GMPF president also said, "Due to social distancing norms, we have kept our door-to-door campaign on hold along with corner meetings but if we don't get immediate relief from the government and concerned authorities, we will be forced to agitate for our survival."
All mining activities in the state were stopped in March 2018 following the Supreme Court's decision to quash renewal of 88 mining leases, affecting over 3 lakh lives in the state.
Balaji Gauns, vice-president of GMPF and president of Dharbandora Taluka Truck Owners Association, said, "We are also troubled with continuous postponement of allotted hearing dates and issuance of new ones by the courts without any conclusive decisions being made."
He added that immediate resumption of the Goa mining industry is very crucial for restoring the state's economy to save livelihood of over three lakh people who are directly and indirectly dependent on mining for survival.
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