From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Panaji
Panaji, Jun 16: The Goa politicians have entered into the mining business, who often display little interest in working responsibly or even obeying the law, an international human rights watch organization has said in its report.
New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its report `Out of Control: Mining, Regulatory Failure and Human Rights in India,’ has stumbled upon the entry of local politicians in mining business of Goa.
“Politicians have entered into this mining business and are spoiling the names of established mining companies. Their action tar the reputation of the whole industry,” the report mentions quoting officials from two different mining firms, who spoke to HRW on the condition of anonymity.
The officials told HRW that companies often selected contractors with political ties for the wrong reasons, and the contractors linked to politicians often display little interest in working responsibly or even obeying the law.
“Sometimes you proactively go to a politician and say, `look, let’s do this together’, so you get it done faster,” a company official has been quoted in the report.
The companies, the official said, disapproves the practice.
Another official has been quoted as saying `companies’ use of contractor with no competence or value added except that they work well with politicians.’
The HRW has cited a company – Rhissa Mining Services, floated by former urban development minister Joaquim Alemao and run by his son.
Rama Velip, a local farmer and anti-mining activist, has told HRW that he was approached by a representative of Rhissa who attempted to persuade him to abandon his opposition to nearby mining developments – mines that Rhissa had little or no clear economic stake in it.
In its report, the HRW has also interviewed S Sridhar, executive director of Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA). Sridhar has been quoted replying on the politicians entering into business.
“I don’t know what he (Joaquim Alemao) is doing. I really don’t know,” Sridhar said adding that `Naturally, if a politician is there I will give him the contract if it is economical to me.. It happens everywhere.’