Local Goa News

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Can mining resume without mining corridors? villagers don’t think so

Villagers warn ore won’t be transported unless corridor made; Parsekar assures “amicable solution”

PANJIM: The delay in construction of mining corridors is likely to be a major hurdle in the resumption of mining activities from the coming season in October. Villagers from Sanguem and Quepem taluka have warned of protests against iron ore transportation if the corridors are not built.
Several villagers from Quepem, Sanguem and Curchorem areas met Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Tuesday morning demanding that the mining bypass be completed on a war footing, without which the ore would not be allowed to be transported in those areas. The Chief Minister assured an amicable solution to the matter.

The villagers reminded that in 2011 the government had proposed mining corridor in three different phases – Uguem to Guddemol, Guddemo to Curchorem and Pirla to Uguem – and demanded that these be completed before resuming transportation of iron ore.
“State government has been dragging its feet over the crucial mining bypass which needs to be completed in three phases. Due to this, trucks are forced to take the main road resulting in several fatal accidents,” Pradeep Kakodkar, a leader of “Mission Bypass” told the media after meeting Parsekar.
Kakodkar, along with other villagers, had begun an agitation stopping iron ore transportation in March this year following a fatal accident that killed two ladies. The people have stopped transportation since then.
Kakodkar on Tuesday said that around 6,000 trucks are operational in Sanguem, Quepem and Curchorem belt, but the agitation has affected only a few truck trips, and not the entire transportation. “The truckers drive in a rash and in negligent manner. With narrow village roads and trucks being parked on the either side of the road, it becomes difficult for the normal commuter to travel,” he explained adding, “Though the government has fixed the speed limit, no trucks follows it.”
“Iron ore mining transportation has killed nearly 70-80 people till now in the belt,” he added, stating that ore is not a perishable commodity and mining firms can wait for the completion of bypass to export the ore.
The issue was recently raised during the Assembly Session and the Chief Minister had assured that the construction of mining corridors would be undertaken either by the mining firms or utilizing funds collected under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF).

Herald Goa News

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