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SC ban on ‘voracious’ mining saved Goa: CM

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Panaji: The Supreme Court ban on the “voracious” iron ore mining in Goa may have saved the state from ecological peril, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has said.

goamining--621x414 At a book release function in the state capital late Friday, Parsekar said though mining was necessary to fuel the state’s economy, it was also necessary to simultaneously maintain an ecological balance.

“It is time we introspect and plan for future. About two and a half years ago, the Supreme Court was compelled to intervene, because we were too voracious without understanding the ecological balance,” the chief minister said.

“Mining activity had increased to such an extent that if it was to continue, probably in a decade, I don’t know what would have been the state of Goa,” he added.

Mining in Goa was banned by the Supreme Court in 2012 after a judicial commission exposed a Rs.35, 000 crore illegal mining scam, blaming a nexus of Goa’s mining companies, politicians and bureaucrats.

In 2010-11, nearly 54 million tonnes of iron ore was exported from Goa, out of which nearly a third was estimated as illegally mined iron ore.

Goa at that time contributed to nearly 21 percent of India’s total iron ore production.

After nearly three years of the ban, the Goa government is now gearing up for resumption of mining, but Parsekar says that there is need for caution.

“Of course as a head of the state, I do have consideration for mining… it helps economy… We need to keep in mind the ecological balance while we are involved in the development,” he said.

“We need to take care of nature. We need not be too greedy as regards mining. As a government, we are for restarting of mining, but that has to be controlled mining. It has to be in line with nature. We have to maintain the balance therein,” he added. (IANS)

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Goa Police Ensures Strict Monitoring of Cash Transactions at Goa Casinos Ahead of Polls

Elections to Goa's two Lok Sabha constituencies and bypolls to three assembly seats will be held on April 23, the Election Commission announced on Sunday

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Casino
Casino Popular with Indian Gamblers. Pixabay

With the Model Code of Conduct in place for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and assembly bypolls, the Goa Police on Sunday said that they will be strictly monitoring gambling operations in the coastal state, including in casinos.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Rajesh Kumar said that there would be strict vigil of cash transactions at Goa’s casinos, which have been accused of money laundering by the Opposition and civil society.

“… we have laid more emphasis on cracking down on crimes like matka, gambling, narcotics…” he told reporters here.

Casino
This place is more than just a casino. Flickr

He also said that casino operators will have to ensure their patrons have a PAN card, especially while making cash transactions.

“There are laid-down guidelines for casinos… If someone is going with cash, he should have a PAN card and whether the PAN card is being recorded there (at the casino’s end). Whatever norms there are will be enforced,” he added.

Also Read- Apple Working on Technology to Secure iPhone Users’ Privacy

There are six offshore casinos and about nine onshore casinos operating from the state’s numerous coastal resorts.

Elections to Goa’s two Lok Sabha constituencies and bypolls to three assembly seats will be held on April 23, the Election Commission announced on Sunday. (IANS)