With the total collapse of the revenue generated from the tourism sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday urged Home Minister Amit Shah to look into the resumption of mining in the state. He said that it was imperative to resurrect the mining sector at the earliest.
"Pursuant to the apex court order, dated February 7, 2018, the mining in the state came to a halt, which caused around Rs 2,000 crore loss of revenue. More than 1.5 lakh people, who were directly or indirectly dependent on mining, lost their source of livelihood," Malik said in a letter to Shah.
The mining issue has been hanging fire since the apex court banned extraction and transport of iron ore from 88 mining leases in February 2018, but also directed the state government to reissue leases. The is the second time in less than a decade that mining activities in the state has come to a standstill.
The central government, last year, had formed a Group of Ministers under Amit Shah to resolve the mining deadlock, but it has failed to make much headway as far as the resumption of the industry is concerned.
Earlier, Goa's Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said, that the tourism department will seek financial help from the Centre for the industry stakeholders to overcome the crisis they are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak. Ajgaonkar also said that his department has written to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, seeking help for the tourism industry from the Prime Minister's relief fund for COVID-19.
Ajgaonkar said the coronavirus outbreak happened at a time when the coastal state had managed to get back its tourism industry on track after the global slump. "But, because of COVID-19, we will again have to start from zero. Till all airports and other routes resume operation, tourism cannot flourish in the state,'' he said.
Nearly 80 lakh tourists visit Goa every year, he claimed, adding that till the situation does not normalise at the national level, the coastal state's borders will continue to remain sealed.