Quepem, Jan 16
The United Tribal Association Alliance (UTAA) has convened a meeting near Balli panchayat on January 17 4 pm to oppose the proposed mining leases applied for by mining firms in different parts of Quepem constituency.
In a press note, the UTAA has expressed concern that the government has decided to permit around 2,900 hectares of area on lease to mining companies at Balli, Barcem, Khodem, Betul and Fatorpa villages of Quepem constituency.
“The villagers have raised their objection to the proposed leases, however the stand of the government about mining is always suspicious as the government has always acted in favour of mining companies,” the press note stated.
The proposed area is inhabited by tribals and all the areas are covered with thick cashew, coconut platation, paddy fields and other fruit bearing trees. If this area is given for mining leases, the life of the tribals in these areas will be threatened.”
UTAA president Prakash Velip has appealed to villagers of different part of Quepem to attend the meeting in large numbers to show solidarity in opposing the porposed mining leases.
Herald, 17 January 2010, Panaji