Parrikar to meet Modi over Goa mining crisis

Panaji,   Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week to resolve the mining crisis in the coastal state which was triggered after the Supreme Court banned mining in all 88 operational mining leases in March.

“The Chief Minister will also hold a joint meeting of all mining concerned MLAs shortly to arrive at a consensus after which the matter will be taken up with the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office said on Friday, after Parrikar met legislators from the state’s mining belt.

Resolving the mining imbroglio is one of the first challenges before Parrikar, who on June 14, returned after a nearly three month absence, during which he was undergoing treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer in a US hospital.

Among the legislators who met the Chief Minister were Speaker Pramod Sawant, Pravin Zantye, Rajesh Patnekar (BJP), Prasad Gaonkar (Independent) and Deepak Pauskar (Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party), where the Chief Minister discussed ways and means in which mining can be resumed in Goa.

The mining issue has been hanging fire in Goa ever since the Supreme Court banned extraction and transportation of iron ore from 88 mining leases from March this year, while also directing the state government to re-issue mining leases.

This is the second time in less than a decade that all mining in the state has come to a standstill after it was banned in 2012.

The ban was later lifted by the apex court in 2014, but it was forced to impose the fresh restrictions while castigating the state government for messing up the lease renewal process.