The Iron Ore mining in Goa has become the highest political issue in Goa and in the Country. With the senior political personals noted in the scam, the present Government in Goa is facing a heat from the opposition to handle the situation.
Most of the mines in Goa are handled by the private parties dominated by the powerful families. There are top four miners in Goa and they are SESA Goa, Chowgules, Timblos and Salgaocars who all together accounts the 85% of Goa’s Mining Industries. Except Sesa Goa, there are no financial figures details of any miners available.
Illegal mining in Goa was only possible with the help of senior politicians, forest department, police and other Government bodies in relation to mining activity in the state.
In year 1987, the Parliament abolished the mining concession given to the miners by the Portuguese and brought the new law of Goa, Daman and Diu Mining Act. The miners in Goa challenged the Act in the Bombay High Court and later in Supreme Court. The matter is still pending and only 500 miners were permitted to continue with their mining activity.
In the year 1988, the miners were asked to apply for renewal of their mining licenses and extent the lease for next ten years. At present only 336 mines are legal in Goa.
The MoEF department issued the clearance to 169 mines in the year 2005 to 2009 and doesn’t have a copy of even a single clearance. This shows in how much hurry the clearances were issued. The maximum of the permissions allotted when A.Raja was environment minister.
No one is in favor of complete ban on mining in State. Everyone knows that the total halt in mining activity can result in lots of other major problems. The worst hits will the truck drivers, local villagers who do various jobs in mining activity.