Saturday, December 19, 2009

Private member’s resolution on mining defeated

A private member’s resolution moved by Mapusa MLA Francis D’Souza that the mining across the State other than special roads constructed for the purpose may be regulated taking into consideration various parameters through the regulatory authorities to be formed under the Chairmanship of a retired Justice of High Court, was defeated by 14-23 votes even as the Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said efforts are on to sort out transportation issues in the mining belt.
Relying to a private members resolution by Mapusa MLA , Kamat said that the government is seized of the traffic problems faced by the mining dominated villages.
“If mining has to sustain we have to resolve the traffic problem in the State,” he said.
He said the government has planned bypasses in the major areas so that people are not affected by the mining traffic.
“According to the new mining policy, which will be in place by January, the mining companies will have to contribute for the construction of bypasses,” he said. “We have decided to take up in phases,” Kamat stated.
Further, he said, the government has also approached the National Institute of Traffic and will soon sign a memorandum of understanding.
“The NIT is coming with two plans and through which we will try to have regulatory mechanism,” Kamat said adding “we will also ask them (NIT) to take the concerned MLAs into confidence.”

Minister for Transport said, “Mining is on in big way in Palyem, Bicholim, Sattari, Sanvordem, Sanguem, Quepem and other areas and the people are troubled by the moving traffic.”
He said it was not possible to stop the mining traffic as the government earns a lot of cess through mining.

“This year we have collected around 25 cr from mining cess and hence cannot stop the traffic and we have to look into other ways of constructing bypasses,” Dhavlikar stated.
“We need to have a regulatory committee headed by the chief minister with other members of the assembly being the members on the committee,” he said.

As the opposition rejected the government’s plea for withdrawal of the resolution and asked for division, the resolution was put to vote. Fourteen MLAs voted in favour of the resolution while 23 votes against.

Herald, December 19, 2009 Panaji

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