Mining belt to observe day long bandh on February 28

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Panaji: The people dependent on mining industry in Goa have threatened to hold one-day-long bandh of the belt where mining leases exist on February 28, if government fails to provide solution for the crisis.

Goa Mining People’s Front on Thursday evening held Candle Light march in Panaji to commemorate one year of Supreme Court verdict which had quashed 88 mining leases bring to halt the industry. The SC had pronounced its verdict on February 7, 2018.

GMPF President Puti Gaonkar said that the mining dependents will hold a mega rally on February 14 at Usgao village, a part of the mining belt.

“If our demand of resumption of mining industry is not met by February 14, then we are going to hold one day band in the mining belt on February 28,” he said.

“The corner meetings will be held between February 14 to February 28 in mining belt,” Gaonkar added.

The talukas of Sanguem, Quepem, Bicholim, Dharbandora are predominantly having majority of the mining leases in the coastal state.

Thousands of protestors on Thursday evening gathered at Azad Maidan in Panaji and then walked up to Kala Academy where they held a meeting.

Shiv Sena Goa Chief Jitesh Kamat,  Goa Suraksha Manch Chief Subhash Velingkar and Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee President Pratima Coutinho also participated in the march.

Gaonkar said that the BJP has failed to provide concrete solution for the crisis and the party (BJP) will face its consequences during upcoming Lok Sabha election and by-polls in Shiroda and Mandrem Assembly Constituencies.

It is estimated that around two lakh people who were dependent on this industry have been affected due to its closure. The GMPF has been demanding that Central government should amend existing mining laws to give lease of life to the Iron Ore extraction sites.



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