Panaji: Owners of mining truck fleets, ore-transporting river barges and heavy mining machinery here have united to lobby with the state and central governments to restart mining in Goa.

Mining in Goa has been banned by the state and central governments as well as the Supreme Court over a period of one month. The apex court Friday banned all mining and ore transportation operations for four weeks.

"We have decided to open a joint front and lobby with both governments, asking them to see sense. Thousands of people are dependent on mining. It is their responsibility to save them. The bans have to go," Chandrakant Gawas, secretary of the Goa Barge Owners Association, said in Panaji.

Gawas said that the coming together has been facilitated by Goa's apex trade body, the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in which promoters of the state's top mining companies are members.

"Business of the barge and truck owners and mining machinery and equipment owners has declined to very low levels since January 2012 and there has been no business for the last four months," Gawas said.

He added that if business continued to fail, banks would confiscate assets soon."Most of them who have bank loans are finding it impossible to service their bank loans, which will lead to confiscation of their assets by the banks," Gawas said.

He added that the associations had been speaking to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar for relief packages for workers and individuals affected by the ban on mining.


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