Monday 24 October 2016

Goa: Truck, Barge Owners Want Mining to Quickly Resume

File-AP Photo/ Xinhua, Chogo

Thousands of families of truck and barge owners waiting for resumption of ore export in Goa fear that further delay will deepen their financial crisis.

The Goa government had promised to take over the loan liabilities of the stakeholders including truck, barge and mining machinery owners, earmarking Rs 150 crore for the purpose in the recently tabled state budget.

The stakeholders now fear that delays in resumption of mining would further fuel their financial troubles.

"Government should form the mining policy immediately. The process should start now as for the mining to start it may take time. All clearances required for the mining are time consuming," Atul Jadhav, president of the All Goa Barge Owners Association, told PTI.

With the Supreme Court judgement allowing restarting of mining, all hopes are pinned on the mining policy which will trigger further turn of events, he said.

There are 320 barges which are left unutilised for last two years, anchored at various points in Mandovi and Zuari river basins, Jadhav said.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar should act quickly by taking stakeholders into confidence. His policy is likely to have an impact on all those dependent on the mining industry, said Nilkant Gawas, president of the All Goa Truck Owners Association.

The SC has said that mining should start but there are no steps taken by the state government so long after the order, he said.

"We doubt whether the government is really serious about restarting of mining business in the state," he said.

The truck owners are neck deep in financial crisis and want the state government to hurry up as the banks might come knocking on their doors for loan repayment at any time, Gawas said.

The Goa government had registered 12,700 mining trucks under their financial benefit scheme, he mentioned.

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