Mining mafia throwing tantrums now that their favourite toy is taken away

November 4, 2012

floriano-loboFLORIANO LOBO | The Goa Su-Raj Party has been anxiously awaiting for the response of the Supreme Court’s ‘Central Empowered Committee’ after it’s august members had a chance to go around Goa’s mining scarscapes and make their comments. And this Party is happy to note the Committee’s response as published in the section of the press, such as: “MINES IN SELAULIM DAM AREA MAY FACE CLOSURE – May God Save This Land, Says CEC” [TOI] ; “CEC SEES WIDESPREAD DEVASTATION” [NT]; MINING TAKING HEAVY TOLL ON WILDLIFE!” (Animal Rescue Squad) {GT] ; “GOA WORST THAN BELLARY IN KARNATAKA ” etc..

It is right that the CEC has asked for the Export figures of iron ore from the Ore Exporters (GMOEA] as well as for the profit and loss accounts for the last five year. This Party has been asking the CM of Goa to investigate into the dealings of the GMOEA since the exposure of the mining fiasco through the Shah Commission Report where our information indicates that GMOEA is not even a registered body. In the Konkani language there is this saying: ‘DOYEAM ADD SOVNSAR PADD’ , meaning ‘ while the Gods are sleeping, the loot and plunder is the order of the day’. No place in the world will ever see the bumper to bumper serpentine lines of the mining trucks on both sides of Goa’s roads in the mining belts which made life of ordinary people moving on foot, on two and four wheelers a misery, with nothing but mud dust visible on anything and everything giving the impression that Goa was painted mud-red with hundreds of citizens coming under their wheels. That it took the Shah Commission Report and through it, the Supreme Court to act, tells the entire sorry story. A lot of persons who were in charge of running the affairs of Goa’s administration, past and present, must be behind bars for this massive criminal negligence.

This Party believes that like a child that cries and resorts to tantrums if it’s favorite play-toy is taken away, the people who had no care in the world while the going was good, irrespective of the miseries of others, playing with the money-making toys courtesy the Mega Mining in Goa, are now offering threats and tantrums and resorting to demonstrations, that their favorite toys have been taken away, even blaming the Supreme Court of India for having stepped in to stop this uncaring play where Goa’s ground water resources were dried out with it’s green hills razed and scarred beyond salvage; where Goa’s forests and it’s wild-life got exterminated; while Goa’s agricultural fields, water bodies and rivers were awash with uncontrollable mining silt; where Goa’s population in the mining areas could not use the roads for which they were paying their road taxes and when resorted to protests, where mercilessly beaten and even shut into Aguada and other jails; and other related untold miseries.

As they say, all good times must come to an end, it is time for Goa to recuperate from the mindless onslaught on it’s well-being, with mining activity, whether legal or illegal, totally and completely shut down and means and ways explored to replace the mining oriented economy of Goa to a sustainable alternative economy based on agriculture, service industries, hinterland and heritage tourism rather than beach-belt tourism that has seen Goa’s golden beaches scarred and on the point of being destroyed and other eco-friendly and/or non-polluting industries including most suitable IT industries to make Goa the Silicon Valley after Bangalore, where Goa’s qualified man-power may find suitable jobs rather than go hunting for job elsewhere outside Goa and abroad.

Needless to say that this Party has a solution for Goa’s ills, for promoting Goa’s sustainable economy to make it a prosperous economy not reliant on mining and beach tourism alone, because it has planned for this, knowing fully well that one day Goa’s economy has to come to a grinding halt when minds have been closed to pursue other more lucrative avenues and to cater for life to go on un-interrupted without depending on doles accorded through massive back-breaking borrowings. Goa’s past many governments have only partied with merry making, with no thought given to belt-tightening exercises that must be the order of the day if Goa has to be free of dependence on others states, mostly for it’s food and labour with it’s heavy over Rs. 5000 crores of tax burden reduced. Successive governments have made Goa nothing but a dependent state for everything in sight. This Party, needless to say, has always kept the rainy day in full sight so that when the good times are over, which must, at some point in time, one can relax, falling back on the saved kitty.

It is this Party’s foremost hope that the CEC will see GOA for what it is and recommend severe austerity measures to arrest it’s down-ward plunge into the depths of greed and political positioning with the shallow government/s of the day being incapable to see beyond their very noses, so to speak.

The Goa Su-Raj Party sees it like this. “Let the God given mineral resources lie where it is, buried and undisturbed if it’s exploitation has not benefitted Goa and Goans.

Floriano Lobo is General Secretary, Goa Su-Raj Party – GSRP

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