Goa Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant expressed hope today that the Centre would soon be able find a solution to the crisis plaguing the state's mining industry.
Mining has been one of the biggest sources of employment for people of Goa and the government is aware of the concerns of those dependent on this industry, he said after hoisting the national flag at the main Independence Day function held here.
Sawant unfurled the tri-colour in the absence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is currently in the United States for a follow-up medical check-up post his treatment for a pancreatic ailment.
The Independence Day function was held opposite the old secretariat building in the state capital Panaji.
Sawant said Parrikar had recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a group of ministers in New Delhi over the issue of resumption of the iron ore extraction activity in the coastal state.
"The Union government's intervention has been sought and we are sure that the mining activity would resume very soon in the state," the speaker said.
In February this year, the Supreme Court had quashed the second renewal of iron ore mining leases given to 88 companies in Goa in 2015.
They were directed to stop all mining operations with effect from March 16, until fresh mining leases (not fresh renewals or other renewals) are granted and fresh environmental clearances given.
This is the second big blow to the industry, which had faced closure in 2012 too, following the SC directives.
The court had then taken cognisance of the M B Shah commission report, which claimed there was illegal mining worth Rs 35,000 crore in the state between 2005 and 2012.
The industry remained shut for nearly 19 months from October 2012 to April 2014, when the apex court finally allowed miners to operate while imposing several riders.
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