'Shah to visit Goa on Thursday, no discussion on mining'


Panaji, Aug 21 (IANS): Union Home Minster Amit Shah will be in Goa on Thursday to chair the 24th meeting of the Western Zonal Council during which he will discuss various issues but the mining ban plaguing the coastal state is not on his agenda.

When asked if Shah, who heads the Central government's Group of Ministers appointed to find ways and means to restart Goa's banned mining sector, will discuss the mining issue during the council meet, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Vinay Tendulkar replied in the negative.

"The Western Zonal Council meeting is related to the affairs of the Home Ministry. The mining issue will not be discussed at the meeting. However, we are constantly following up the mining resumption issue with the Central government," Tendulkar told IANS on Wednesday.

Mining in Goa has been banned since March 2018. The Group of Ministers, comprising Union Ministers of Mining, Industry, Environment among others was formed in July 2019, to find ways to restart the industry in the coastal state.

The Western Zonal Council was set up in 1957 with the objective of resolving disputes and irritants between Centre and States and among the respective states in the designated zones.

The council, comprising representatives of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and union territories of Daman, Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli, is expected to discuss a broad range of issues including boundary-related disputes, security, infrastructure-related matters like road, transport, industries, water, power and issues pertaining to forests and environment, housing, education, food security, and tourism.

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