PANAJI: Ahead of Union minister Nitin Gadkari's visit to Goa next week, the BJP today convened a meeting of its state legislators and office-bearers here to discuss the way out of the mining crisis.
During the meeting, the party leaders sought the central government's intervention so that the mining industry resumes its operations once again.
BJP national general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh chaired the meeting that was attended by the MLAs and office-bearers at the party office here.
Gadkari is scheduled to visit Goa on March 20 to hold talks with the state government and the stakeholders over the mining crisis.
"Of the 14 party legislators, 12 were present for the meeting.
The issue of mining was discussed for almost three hours," BJP legislator Nilesh Cabral said.
"We demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should intervene in the matter and resolve the crisis. During the meeting, all the legislators expressed their views and everyone is of the view that the mining activities should resume," he said.
The partymen want Gadkari to convey the legislators' views to the central government, the BJP legislator said.
Gadkari will meet the associations representing miners, barge owners and truck operators and also hold a meeting with representatives of all parties in the stat, he said.
The five-decade-old mining industry in Goa came to a standstill from yesterday with the Supreme Court ordering a ban on iron ore extraction.
The apex court had quashed 88 mining leases in the state, stopping the fresh extraction of ore.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Assembly Speaker and BJP legislator Pramod Sawant said, "We are trying to work a way out of the current mining crisis, which has affected lakhs of people in the state. All possible efforts would be made to ensure that people dependent on the mining industry are not left in the lurch." Sawant, who represents Sankhalim constituency, which is iron ore mining belt, added the state and the central governments are leaving no stone unturned to make sure that the mining activities resume soon.
State Panchayat Minister and BJP legislator Mauvin Godinho said all the stakeholders of the mining industry would be heard and only after that the governments will decide the future action.
"We will work out a roadmap," he said adding that everybody in Goa was aware of the impact of the closure of mining.
"So, every effort is being made by the governments. We want the Centre to intervene and take necessary steps so that mining resumes," he added.