26 Gram Panchayats of Goa Make Impleadment to the Supreme Court in the Goa Mining Case

Livelihoods of around 3 lakh Goans at stake as mining activity remains shut for 28 months.

26 Gram Panchayats of Goa have approached the Supreme Court with an interlocutory application (IA) seeking impleadment in Goa Mining Case. Populace of these 26 Villages of the state of Goa are closely dependent on the mining industry. Mining is and has been a mainstay of the people of Goa since its inhabitants have been employed in mining and ancillary activities for at least 6 generations. Ban on mining activities from past 28 months has an ultimate impact on the local people under the Gram Panchayats. Mining has been stopped in Goa from March 15, 2018 after the Apex Court of India quashed 88 mining leases in the state.

Ms.Swati Gawas Tilve, Sarpanch, Village Dharbandora said, “We all are local Goan people thus makes it imperative that mining activities in the state should be resumed immediately. The Consistent cry of people to resume livelihood can yield results only with the supportive intervention of State and the Central Government.  We will not leave any stone unturned and have even approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court. We are only praying for justice for our livelihood as we are suffering for many years.”

In the wake of the welfare of the people, Panchayat being under the constitution, has raised and represented the need of its people before the Supreme Court. Gram Panchayats had come together in the past as well when mining was suspended in the State by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

The delegation has accused the NGO named Goa Foundation for being responsible for stopping mining, the source of employment for the people of Goa. Mining in Goa was stopped 28 months back and now a fresh plea demanding impleadment has been placed. A large number of families in Goa are surviving under huge borrowings, savings, alternative small-scale temporary jobs, etc. and have reached collapsing state of affairs.

“We, the Panchayats are real representatives of the local people in the mining belt from Goa. The NGO Goa Foundation are not the people’s representatives. The NGO’s actions have put people in distress as they object to mining without any regard to employment and livelihood opportunities for Goans. We have decided to now approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court to get justice for our people.  People in the mining belt are suffering for last 8 years and the basic livelihood sustenance has been inconsistent for quite a long time.  Our representation in the Hon’ble Supreme Courts will be to expedite the hearings of the current cases pending and pave a practical way to restart mining  which we understand is a currently a deadlock on legal issues.” added Mr. Sandeep Prabhu Pauskar, Sarpanch, Village Sanvordem.

In 2014, Goa Foundation filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the mining activities which is one of the two pillars for the economic growth of the state. Goa Foundation is known for filing multiple petitions against the mining activities which is one of the two pillars for the economic growth of the state. The present impasse of mining stoppage coupled by the lockdown of Covid-19 which has further worsened out the situation of Goans with all certainties of any kind of livelihood resumption.