Goa Foundation flays govt for poor handling of DMF funds
Points out that of the total 180 crore with the District Mineral Foundation, only Rs 1.07 crore has been spent so far; Questions govt’s failure to ‘fund serious social and development projects that would benefit persons in the mining affected villages’
PANJIM: Goa Foundation (GF), who had approached the High Court (HC) over government failure to implement the funds collected through iron ore mining export, under District Mineral Foundation (DMF) has claimed that only 1.07 crore of the total 180 crore has been spent so far in the mining affected villages.
In a press statement issued, GF director Claude Alvares has said that both- North and South DMF have around Rs 90 crore each in their accounts, and are still unable to fund serious social and development projects that would benefit persons in the mining affected villages.
The kind of activity that could be supported for funding as per the Mines department includes afforestation, drinking water, education, electrification, environment, health care, housing, infrastructure, irrigation, sanitation, skill development and sports.
"However, only in the area of drinking water, some work has been done. The water supply project of the DMF amounts to Rs.1.07 crores so far," said Alvares, while adding that the focus on drinking water is solely due to their Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which was filed before High Court on behalf of Sonshi villagers
“However, the spending under all other items so far has been zero despite the fact that several proposals from mining affected communities are pending consideration for some while now, Alvares added.
The government has spent around Rs 62, 87,224.48 for water projects in North Goa villages like Sonshi, Pissurlem, Mayem, Mulgao, etc. In South, the villages covered are Rivona, Kalye, Cavrem, Maina and some in Sanvordem and Quepem constituency, with total spending of Rs 44,18,621.
The High Court, through its order in January, had directed the district collectors of both North and South Goa, to forthwith take charge of the funds of the DMF in their respective jurisdictions. After being slammed by the Court, government had registered DMF as a trust under the collectors.
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