After listening to Parrikar’s declaration: No illegal mining in Goa, it seems it is OK to speak, see and hear no evil of illegal mining, while one is power, but speak, see and hear all the evil of illegal mining when in Opposition.
This confirms what we have all known, but were afraid to accept. We are afraid to accept the part played by politicians of all parties, of all hues and colours, in fooling the public in matters to do with illegal mining.
The Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) report clearly talked of illegal mining and based on the CAG report, Parrikar as the chairman of the state Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was investigating allegations of illegal mining, even went hammer and tongs in the Assembly against the government.
Today, he is an enlightened individual and finds no illegal mining! Now, the time has come to define illegal mining. All (or most of the mining) companies have a license to excavate minerals of certain quantity and quality and within a certain area. Now if these mines go beyond the limit specified and beyond the area do we call it illegal mining. Else, give it another term and call it irregular mining.
Some mines are operating in brazen violation of conditions laid down in the Environment Protection Act. We may not want to call this illegal mining but the result is the same as illegal mining. Call it what you want, but the fact is thatthe consent terms and environments acts have been violated. Over the years subsequent governments have looked the other way and allowed these blatant violations by the mine owners. This gives credence to the rumours that it is the mining lobby that runs any government in Goa.
Often, the excuse given not to stop illegal mining is that the state finances depend on mining. But this is all hog wash. The State at most walks away with around 900 crore from excise/royalty while the mining is 22000 crore. All natural resources extracted from the ground belong to the State but it’s the private players that are laughing all the way to the bank and this with the connivance of the political class.
Now, we are told that the government is in the process of framing rules and draft policy on mining. These new set of rules will be a mere entry in the statute books. What is lacking is the will to implement the existing laws and policies so new ones are not expected to fare any better.
Finally we are exporting minerals today mainly to China and disregarding the environmental damage and the damage to water bodies etc. In the future we will have to import water from China and most probably pay double the price we received from exporting iron ore. Believe me, the mine owners are not going to be around in Goa they and their generations will be watching the fun from good old places like Dubai !
DC Dias, Taleigao
Muthalik Jai ho!
Though a ardent admirer of Parrikar and his policies, it still baffles me why he is still adamant on the entry of Ram Sene in a peace loving state like Goa. The CM’s various utterances in public against Muthalik only makes me wonder whether the RSS or the BJP has a strong hold on the Goa government over policy issues. Goa needs police for
tourist security and not moral police. The mute reaction of the CM over a public outcry against Ram Sene and Muthalik’s blatant and fearless rhetoric only raises a fear among the minorities and fun loving Goans that all is not well under the present government. In a state where tourism is the backbone of its economy any negative sentiments can have a far reaching complications whereby countries are forced to make advisories to its citizens against visiting Goa. In a situation like this, prevention is always better than cure. Otherwise, Goans might be forced to say ‘Muthalik Jai Ho’ if the government supports Ram Sene in Goa!