PANAJI: With the Supreme Court deadline for closure of mining operation in Goa closing tomorrow midnight, a Cabinet committee today decided to urge Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to file a review petition as a last-ditch effort.
In a meeting held this afternoon, the Cabinet Advisory Committee (CAC) resolved to request the chief minister, currently in the US for treatment, to consult Attorney General on filing a review petition in the apex court.
The supreme court last month quashed 88 mining leases in Goa and banned fresh extraction of ore from March 15 midnight on a petition filed by an NGO claiming that companies were carrying out mining in violation of various statutes.
"The CAC resolved that the state should file a review petition in the SC after taking legal advice from Attorney General of India or a person of that rank.
State chief secretary will communicate our recommendation to the chief minister," Transport Minister Sudin Dhavalikar told reporters after the meeting.
Besides Dhavalikar, Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai and Urban Development Minister Francis D'Souza are members of the CAC formed by Parrikar before he left for the US earlier this month.
Dhavalikar said Sardesai had spoken to Parrikar over phone on the issue.
"Chief Minister's approval to file a review petition is expected tonight," he said.
Dhavalikar said the CAC also reviewed the situation that would arise once the ban on fresh extraction of ore comes into force.
"The committee also decided to form panels in each mining area under respective MLAs to assess the impact of the ban on the families dependent on mining," Dhavalikar said.
Meanwhile, the CAC has appealed to the banks to go slow on recovery of loans taken by the people who are dependent on mining for survival, as they are going through a financial crisis.
Sardesai said the state would face the "biggest" crisis from March 16, when the mining ban comes into force.
"This crisis is not created by the state or Central government but is created by the verdict of the Supreme Court," he said while seeking cooperation of the people.
To implement the apex court order, the state government has already directed the mines to stop fresh extraction of ore and move out the machinery.
Transportation of ore has also been put on hold.