Panaji: Mining may resume in Goa in October after a gap of nearly three years, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar told the legislative assembly on Wednesday.
“The state government lifted the temporary ban on iron and manganese ore mining in the state on January 15, 2015. Since all assistance is given by the state government, mining might resume from October, 2015,” Parsekar said in a written reply.
Mining in Goa was stopped both by the state and the central governments in 2012 following a Rs.35,000 crore illegal mining scam which was unearthed by a judicial commission appointed by the union mines ministry.
The Supreme Court banned all mining activity in the same year.
The ban was lifted last year, but mining still could not restart because of pending green clearances.
Tourists arrival in Goa is on decline, acknowledged Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar here on Wednesday and underlined the need to work out solutions to address the issue.
“There is a drop in tourist arrivals in Goa and it needs to be looked into seriously,” Ajgaonkar told reporters after chairing the meeting with the industry stakeholders in Panaji.
“The problems identified will be looked into jointly after taking into confidence all the tourism associations and stakeholders,” the minister said.
Travel and tourism industry stakeholders are expected to submit a comprehensive report on issues affecting tourist arrivals, an official said.
Industry stakeholders have cried hoarse trying to draw the government’s attention to dropping tourist footfall over the past few years, and blaming the Tourism Ministry for not doing enough to promote the state.
At the meeting, industry stakeholders, led by Travel and Tourism Association of Goa president Savio Messias, urged Ajgaonkar to address the issues plaguing the industry like harassment of tourists, nuisance caused by organised begging at tourist locations, unreasonable taxi charges by local operators, and the high goods and services tax (GST) rate.