PANAJI: Stepping in to break the deadlock between truck owners and a mining company over iron ore transportation, the Goa government has announced forming an expert committee to study and resolve the matter.
The truck owners have stopped carrying ore from Vedanta Sesa Iron Ore's site at Usgaon village in north Goa, demanding higher tonnage rate for the cargo carried. Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar late last night announced forming an expert committee to resolve the current impasse.
Meanwhile, several politicians, including Congress Goa unit chief Luizinho Faleiro met the agitating truckers here yesterday. Faleiro also met Parsekar seeking his intervention in the matter. Transportation services in the state are on a halt since December 4.
Parsekar assured to constitute an expert panel, comprising officials from mines department, chartered accountants, representatives from mining companies, member of Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA) and truck owners. The Chief Minister said the panel will study the entire matter of ore transportation rates and draw a conclusion in the interest of the state, mining industry and people dependent on the business, Faleiro told reporters after meeting Parsekar here.
"It is a serious issue affecting resumption of mining, which was at halt for past three years and so also people dependent on the business," he said. Mining companies cannot force the truck owners to transport the ore at such lower rate, considering that the section was left with no business past three years, the leader said.
"Mining has not resumed in full swing. Hence, companies need to understand that with limited ore transport, truck owners, which are so many in numbers, cannot sustain the business," he said. Truck owners under the banner of All Goa Truck Owners Association have been demanding a fare of more than Rs 8 per tonne per kilometre.
Sesa, however, had refused to offer the rate, claiming that the market situation was grim due to plummeting international ore prices.