Mining: We fear public unrest: Govt tells SC
The state government has raised apprehensions of chaos, disorder and public unrest if the mining imbroglio is not resolved at the earliest, it has stated in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court (SC). 'The fallout of the order of the state government and the subsequent order of SC has brought about a certain situation, which in the submission of state government if not remedied at the earliest possible opportunity, may give rise to chaos and disorder, public unrest and other situations,' the affidavit stated.
The government in its affidavit stated that there are 20,000-25,000 trucks which are plying in mining operations, out of which altogether 11,100 have been registered so far with the mining department, which are engaged in transportation of iron ore.
'The stoppage of mining activity has affected all these truck owners,' stated the affidavit. Further, the state government in its affidavit, stated that the drivers of these trucks have been rendered unemployed which has also directly affected the families of the truck owners as well as the drivers.
The affidavit also stated that this has also affected the banking sector, more particularly, small cooperative banks, which had advanced loans to the truck owners at the time of purchase of the trucks.
In fact, non-payment of the installments has adversely affected the financial state of the smaller cooperative banks.
There are around 375 barges plying in mining transportation, out of which 223 barges have been registered so far with the mining department in the state of Goa, who are primarily engaged in transportation of mining ore.
'In fact, stoppage of the mining activity has stopped all the barge transport thereby affecting their owners, staff and their families,' stated the affidavit.
The stoppage of barge transportation has rendered around 4,000 employees unemployed thereby affecting them and their families in their day-to-day lives. There are around 220 mining machineries so far registered with the department of mines and geology.
Presently, due to stoppage of mining activity, these machineries and the staff employed on these machineries are not being used at the mines, stated the affidavit.
The affidavit also states that most of the mining companies have retrenched/laid off their employees and some of the mining companies are in the process of doing so.
'Due to this, the spending power has reduced drastically, which has directly affected the hotel business, other businesses, shops, small time vendors in the mining belt, thereby affecting the economy as a whole,' the affidavit stated. [TOI]