New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS): Twenty-six Gram Panchayats of Goa have approached the Supreme Court with an interlocutory application (IA) seeking impleadment in the Goa mining case.
The population of these 26 Villages is closely dependent on the mining industry. Mining is and has been a mainstay of the people of Goa, as its inhabitants have been employed in mining and ancillary activities for at least six generations.
The ban on mining activities for the past 28 months has had an ultimate impact on the local people under the gram panchayats. Mining has been stopped in Goa from March 15, 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases in the state.
Swati Gawas Tilve, sarpanch of Dharbandora village, said, "We all are local people and thus it makes imperative that mining activities in the state be resumed immediately. The consistent cry of people to resume livelihood can yield results only with the supportive
intervention of the state and the Central government. We will not leave any stone unturned and have even approached the Supreme Court. We are only praying for justice for our livelihood as we are suffering for many years"
Gram panchayats had come together in the past as well when mining was suspended in the state by the Supreme Court.
The delegation has accused an NGO named Goa Foundation for being responsible for stopping mining. Mining in Goa was stopped 28 months back and now a fresh plea demanding impleadment has been placed. A large number of families in Goa are surviving under huge borrowings, savings, alternative small-scale temporary jobs etc.
"We the panchayats are the real representatives of the local people in the mining belt of Goa. The NGO Goa Foundation is not the people's representative. The NGO's actions have put people in distress as they object to mining without any regard to employment and livelihood opportunities for Goans. We have now decided to approach the Supreme Court to get justice for our people," said Sandeep Prabhu Pauskar, the sarpanch of Sanvordem village.