Today afternoon Regional Office of Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest based in Bangalore initiated talks with activists in Goa over the question of mining. The team was led by Chief Conservator of Forests (Central) Mr. K.S.Reddy. In a meeting called at short notice of less than 24 hours few top government officers were present for the discussions with few activists working on mining issue in Goa. They includes Chief Conservator of Forests in Goa Shashi Kumar, Deputy Conservator of Forest (South Goa) Mr. Shambu Mahesh, and Chairman of Goa Pollution Control Board Dr. Simon de Souza.
The meeting was held at Goa Pollution Control Board conference hall in Panjim. Amongst the activists who participated in this discussion includes Dr.Claude Alvares, Carmen Miranda, Ramesh Gauns, Rajendra Kerker, Bismarque Dias, Joseph D'Costa and Sebastian Rodrigues.
This meeting was a direct fall out of the imposition of Moratorium on granting of new mining leases in Goa by the Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh. Mr. Reddy said that he was on Goa visit and has convened this informal talks with activists in Goa in order to find way out of the problems created by mining industry. He said wanted to know about the situation on ground in regard and has convened the meeting in his personal capacity though he has no directives to do so from the Ministry in Delhi.
Power point presentation on mining situation in Goa created with efforts from GOAMAP was screened at the meeting to facilitate the discussions. Several insightful points points emerged and officials present on the occasion took detail notes on the dangerous situation in Goa created by mining industry.
It was agreed on the occasion to hold regular interactions between the officials of the various connected government ministries, people affected with mining, and representatives of the mining industry.