The voters from South Goa’s Sanguem want resumption of mining as single point on party manifestos

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Panaji, March 22 : The voters from Sanguem assembly constituency expect that this Lok Sabha election, the parties that will come to seek their support should make only one promise — resumption of mining activity.

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Sanguem assembly segment is a part of South Goa Parliamentary constituency and currently represented in the State legislative assembly by BJP MLA Subhash Phal Desai. The constituency has around 24,000-odd voters.

 


“The mining activity has stopped since the year 2012 across Goa and the locals of Sanguem were the worst sufferers,” said Rajanikant Naik, who owns a mining truck.
Naik, who is also a former secretary of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee, feels that the stoppage of mining has severely affected the lives of the people.


“There is no other source of income in this constituency other than mining,” he said.
Naik stated that farming was the major source of income for the people in this constituency before mining industry took a pace. “Now, after the mining ban, the people tried to get back to the farms but they can’t make livelihood due to various factors,” he said.

He said that when the candidates will arrive this time asking for votes for Lok Sabha polls, the first assurance we want from them is that they will restart the mining industry, as soon as possible,


Amey Naik is a youth who ventured into the business of mining, little before the activity stopped.

“I purchased a truck thinking that I would eke out living from the mining industry. But, to my bad luck, the mining industry stopped, in few months after I purchased the truck,” he said.

 


Amey claims that the signs of mining resumption were seen during the last calendar year when iron ore e-actioned by the government was being transported to the jetties, from where it is taken to the ships for exports.

“When the mining transporter said that the business is going to start, I spent Rs one lakh to repair the truck and get all my certificates like pollution, insurance, road tax in place,” he said.

 


“The business was there for hardly a month and then it stopped. I spent Rs one lakh and earned Rs 48,000. It was a total loss,” said Amey,

He stated that resumption of mining should be a priority and those candidates assuring it, will only get support from voters of Sanguem.

 


Sandeep Mapari, a mofusile correspondent with a local newspaper and an entrepreneur, said that said that the assurance of resumption of mining in the past were fake.
“People don’t want mining to resume in phases. They want it to start immediately,” he said.
He said that Sanguem constituency which is a home for Goa’s biggest reservoir — Selaulim dam— is suffering because of the sacrifice it made to fulfil drinking water requirement of the state.

 


Mapari pointed out that those villagers who were displaced for the construction of Selaulim dam, are currently facing shortage of drinking water. “There cannot be a bigger irony then this,” he said, adding that several times, the issue was raised through various platforms, but there is no solution for it.

 


Local activist Jerwis Fernandes said that people have a single demand before the government that the mining should be resumed. “People don’t want the welfare scheme providing monthly renumeration. People are ready to work and earn, let the mining restart,” he added.

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