House expresses concern over illegal mining in Goa

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Panaji, Aug 18 (UNI) Asserting that the government will deal with illegal miners sternly, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat today asked the State Assembly to discuss the new draft mining policy.

Replying to concerns raised by the members, during question hour on the opening day of the Assembly, over the illegal mining activities in the state, the chief minister said the draft policy had just been released, and urged the members to come out with their views. He wanted their views on whether the agriculture should be given priority over mining in the state.

He assured Opposition Leader Manohar Parrikar that the government was committed to initiate stern action against the illegal miners after due inquiry.

He said two cases of illegal mining in Anguem/Quepen/Bicholim and Sattari taluks had come to notice and cases had been registered against those. Inquiry was initiated in three other cases.

The government had received 28 complaints till February this year from the mining belt on illegal mining.

To another question, the chief minister said the government had received about Rs 1.14 crore as royalty from various mining leases during 2005-06, Rs 1.70 crore during 2006-07 and Rs 1.60 crores in 2007-08.

He said as many as 39,552,055 tonnes of iron ore was exported during 2007-08 as per the information provided by the Goa Mineral Ore Exporters' Association. This included 33,434,429 tonnes mined in Goa.

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