We are thankful to Amit Deshpande, Vaastav Foundation (Mumbai) for letting us know this grave situation numerous innocent men in Goa are facing!
On 7th February 2018, the Supreme Court passed a judgment to ban all mining activities in Goa.
Nature lovers or Environmentalists accused that mining activities that they are destroying forests in Goa.
But, was there enough truth in the issue raised?
Petition by these nature lovers or Environmentalists that resulted in Justice M B Shah's report is being seen suspiciously by people of Goa.
The people who lost jobs due to mining ban give a different perspective.
They didn't even talk to us once. So how did they come up with those stats?
They claim that in mining areas, trees are planted. In every mining land, 10 to 12 thousand trees are planted annually. Residents there want people to come and see the greenery around mining areas. They have no idea where Environmentalists did their research.
A recent survey by the Forest Department of India says that Goa's forest cover has increased by 19 sq. km. If mining created any damage, this wouldn't have happened.
Since not one NGO came forward to help the unemployed, they wonder if nature lovers or Environmentalists are somehow funded and working with an agenda to get mining banned here? Goa has customers like China - which has now gone to Australia & Brazil for Iron ore. Their profits have increased.
After the ban on mining, Goa's economy is going through a difficult phase. Goa's economy has worsened so much that even the government doesn't have money to run the state now. There's so much stress that they want to commit suicide.
If accusations against mining activities are questionable, then is it ethically right to put lives of 3,00,000 families at risk?
If restarting mining activities can resolve these newly created problems, then isn't it important to do it?