Train carriages are loaded with iron ore in India. (Photographer: Adam Ferguson/Bloomberg News)

Mining Association Urges Centre, Goa To Resume Mining Operations 

The Mining Engineers' Association of India (MEAI) today urged the Centre and Goa government to take steps to resume mining operations in the state.

In its February 7, 2015 judgement, the Supreme Court had quashed the second renewal of iron ore mining leases given to 88 companies in Goa.

Speaking at 'Mining in Goa at Crossroads: Way Forward' conference held in Panaji to discuss and find a solution for resumption of mining activity in the state, MEAI President Arun Kumar Kothari said, "It has been over four months and no steps have been taken by the state or the Central government to resolve the issue.”

MEAI represents professionals serving the minerals and mining industry in India. It has a membership strength of more than 5,000 mining experts.

The members include mining engineers, geologists, metallurgists, geo-scientists, environmental engineers, allied engineers serving the mining industry, educators, researchers and students.

The situation in Goa is getting from bad to worse day by day, the government must step in now to find a solution to the issue. It has left lakhs of people in the state jobless. 
Arun Kumar Kothari, President, MEAI

Rajan Sahai, former Controller General, Indian Bureau of Mines, suggested that for the time being the state government can restart mining operations so that at least those dependent on the sector, number of which is in lakhs, can get back to work and start earning to meet their daily needs.

Another solution could be auctioning of mines, suggested Puti Goankar, President of the Goa Mining People's Front, an umbrella organisation of people associated with mining.

However, it would not take less than five years to complete the entire process, he said.

Ever since mining operations have been stopped, political and labour union leaders from the state are running from pillar to post to find a solution to the problem.

Many leaders from the state have submitted their requests with the office of Goa Chief Minister and Union ministries of Mines and Road and Transport to find a solution to the problem.