Goa Mining Peoples Front (GMPF) on Wednesday during their meeting held at Usgao, decided not to allow Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to inaugurate Khandepar bridge on December 23.
They also announced their plan to call for Goa bandh in the coming days.
The meeting was attended by around five hundred mining dependants under the chairmanship of Puti Gaonkar.
Goa Suraksha Manch chief Subhash Velingkar, Shiv Sena Goa President Jitesh Kamat, Congress officer bearer Khemlo Sawant and others were present to extend their support to the movement of the mining dependants.
During the meeting, the mining dependants expressed that “the government has done nothing to resume mining in the state for the past one year, and has only given fake assurances to the people.” “The agitations in the state and also in Delhi did not bear any fruit and it is clear that the government is not at all serious about the mining issue,” they added.
They then vowed to teach a lesson to the government.
“It is now the time to show power of the mining dependants to the government, and prove how badly we want mining to resume,” the mining dependants thundered during the meeting.
A decision was taken to protest against the government during the Khandepar bridge inauguration function scheduled on December 23, which Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is expected to attend.
“It will be first blow of the mining dependants to the government, wherein the mining dependants will not allow Nitin Gadkari to inaugurate Khandepar bridge at any cost,” said Gaonkar. The mining dependants decided to block the entry of the bridge from both sides by gathering in large numbers and inaugurate the bridge at the hands of local senior citizen.
They also decided to call for a Goa bandh in next few days and close entry points to the state (Mollem, Pollem, Dodamarg and Chorla Ghat). Associations of taxi operators and others will be called to join the movement. The date for the bandh will be declared on December 27 following statewide meeting of mining dependants at Ponda.
Goa Congress assured the GMPF to take responsibility of closing Pollem entry point, Shiv Sena assured to close Dodamarg point, and rest others will be closed by the mining dependants themselves during the bandh.
“The bandh should be so effective that it should force government to act seriously on the mining issue,” said the GMPF leader.
Considering the demand of the mining dependants present for the meeting, GMPF also decided to write to the mining department asking it to stop the e-auction of the ore until the mining issue in the state is resolved.
Addressing the meeting, Velingkar blamed the BJP- led government for the mining crisis in the state.
If the BJP really wanted to solve the mining issue, it would have solved it as central government and state government is headed by the party, he said. “Even the MGP and Goa Forward are not serious about it, and if they really were, they would have withdrawn their support to the government or at least should have tried to pressurise it. But they didn’t do it,” he said and extended full support to the mining dependants in their fight.