Monday, May 19, 2008

Advalpal villagers rise in revolt: paralyses mining operations

Around 600 villagers of Advalpal in Goa’s Bicholim taluka marched on the 19th May 2008, on Advalpal mines paralyzing the mining operations. According to the reports received at 11.15 am, people suffering from mining invasion targeted Salgaonkars, Sesa Goa and Litho Ferro mines. Details are yet to come in.

In the past few weeks, momentum has been building up against opencast mining companies – many of them operated by mafia groups like Trimurthy. Fomentos - that is well known for Goa’s environmental destruction and snatching away people's livelihoods and drying up natural water sources - too is also contributing its bit to wipe off Advalpal village in Bicholim from Goa’s map. There is an ongoing agitation against Fomentos in Sanguem taluka’s Colamb village. Its mines have been forced to shut down by People’s power since January 2008.

Today’s march on mines included Members of Panchayats as well as Local MLA Mr. Patnekar.

According to Ramesh Gauns most of these mines are illegally operating purely by muscle power. Department of Mines and Geology is involved in protecting these illegal mines even though none of them posses approved mining plans.

It is indeed tragedy of Goa that this government department has stooped down so low to be mere slave agency of the miners. It is high time that the department gets its acts together and rises up to defend people and not mining companies.

According to reports pouring in at 1.00 pm Police are preparing to arrest Advalpal villagers on march.

Sebastian Rodrigues

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