Over 3 Lakh Livelihoods At Stake As Goans Demand Mining To Resume, Affected Communities Outraged

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Over 3 Lakh Livelihoods At Stake As Goans Demand Mining To Resume, Affected Communities Outraged

The Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA) had written to the state government in 2018 mentioning that the ban on mining would result in a loss of Rs 34 million in the state revenue, and impact the livelihoods of thousands.

At one point, Goa was also famous for iron ore mining, which was later exported to countries like China and Japan. However, environmental hazards pushed activists to notice the damage the activity was causing. Mining was an important livelihood in Goa, which came to a standstill after the Supreme Court passed an order that halted all mining operations in the state.

In 2021, the Goa government, led by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), passed the Goa Mineral Development Corporation Bill, which enabled the creation of state-owned mineral corporations. Since the bill was passed without any discussion, the opposition staged a walkout.

Petitioners Waited For 650 Days

The Scroll reported that after the apex court's order, the state government hoped that the new bill would give them a strong foot ahead of the early 2022 elections. However, in July 2021, the Supreme Court observed no legitimate grounds to review the petition and dismissed it.

The law mandates that the review petition must be submitted within 30 days of the passing of the judgement. The Court criticised the government for waiting over 650 days and said that they waited so long for the term of those who passed the previous decision to come to an end.

Affected Over 60,000 Households

However, the youth in the state has taken to social media platform Twitter to express their anguish. The public alleges that banning all mining operations in the state has impacted more than 60,000 households and has adversely affected the livelihood of more than 3 lakh people.

Moreover, the state government has incurred a debt of ₹20,000 crores. Reduced income for the families has affected their standard of living. They had to compromise on the quality of education for the children, thus reducing their chances of a financially stable lifestyle. The ban on the activity has caused a significant financial loss to logistics suppliers, truck owners and barge owners.

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