PANAJI : Disclosing that the two Lok Sabha members from Goa namely Shripad Naik and Narendra Sawaikar will soon call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the state mining issue, state Bharatiya Janata Party president Vinay Tendulkar said that all efforts are being made to restart the mining activities in Goa, with the last resort to the particular problem being following the direction of the Supreme Court.
The apex court, in its judgment delivered in March 2018 had set aside renewal of 88 state mining leases for irregularities in procedure, and further directed the issuance of fresh mining leases based on auction as well as environmental impact studies and clearances.
Speaking to reporters at the city BJP headquarters on Friday, Tendulkar said the two Lok Sabha members were scheduled to meet the Prime Minister on Friday night.
“On my side, I am trying to raise the state mining issue in the Rajya Sabha by way of Zero Hour Mention and Calling Attention Motion at the ongoing winter session of the Parliament,” the state BJP chief informed, pointing out, “However, the Congress party is not allowing the House to function and the House has to be repeatedly adjourned, day after day.” Tendulkar quipped that Opposition leader Chandrakant Kavlekar should use his good offices with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, and request them to allow the Parliament to function.
“If the business of the Parliament is allowed to be held by the Congress, I am sure the government will provide solution to the Goan mining imbroglio,” he noted.
Union Minister of State (independent charge) for AYUSH Shripad Naik, telephonically speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’ from the national capital, said that he and other members of Parliament from Goa have already held a meeting on December 13 with national BJP president Amit Shah over the particular issue.
“Now that a few days are left for the winter session of the Parliament to conclude, we are trying to meet the Prime Minister,” he informed, adding that an appointment has been sought with the Prime Minister since December 20. However, the meeting could not take place as the Prime Minister is not in Delhi.
Speaking to this daily from New Delhi, the South Goa Parliamentarian said that an appointment has already been sought with the Prime Minister’s Office.
“As soon as it comes through, we will meet the Prime Minister,” he maintained, informing that the Prime Minister is presently out of the national capital.
The Prime Minister is currently on a visit to Gujarat to attend the national conference of the directors general of police and inspectors general of police.
The state government as well as all political parties in Goa are working hard to restart the mining operations in the state. However, the two recourses – an ordinance route or an amendment to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) MMDR Act – seem to have failed, as of today.
Furthermore, it is feared that the auctioning of mining leases would bring outsiders to Goa, who do not have a good record in terms of sustainable mining.