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Mining halt in Goa leads to a sense of gloom

ISM study says ban has impacted economy, social life; SC quashed 88 mining leases in 2018

While the second wave throws up challenges, particularly in the manpower-intensive construction sector, ICRA said that it expects a better prepared ecosystem, buffered by ample liquidity to limit stoppage of work, provided the lockdowns are limited to a relatively narrow window
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 While the second wave throws up challenges, particularly in the manpower-intensive construction sector, ICRA said that it expects a better prepared ecosystem, buffered by ample liquidity to limit stoppage of work, provided the lockdowns are limited to a relatively narrow window

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New Delhi: The stoppage of mining in Goa dealt a devastating blow to the livelihoods of people and has resulted in all-round gloom in the state economy and social life, according to a recent study.

The mining in Goa came to a halt in 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed the renewal of 88 mining leases. A recent study on impacts of stoppage of mining in Goa on socio-economics carried out by Indian Institute of Technology-Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad, said that "the survey results clearly demonstrated a sense of all-round gloom in the State economy and social life."

The closure of mining has dealt a devastating blow to the livelihoods of people which includes both in mining and non-mining areas. Agriculture, art and craft, tourism and all allied industries have suffered because of suspension of mining activities, it said. "With mining closure, the drop in income level has been very sharp not only in mining talukas but the impact has been felt all across Goa. Post closure, there has been at least a 30 per cent drop in income across talukas and in some talukas like Mormugao the drop is as high as 50 per cent," it said.

Stoppage of iron ore mining in Goa has impacted revenues worth over Rs 34 billion and the livelihoods of several dependent segments have been affected and left the stakeholders of the industry without any alternate sources of income. The savings of the households have dipped drastically after the closure of the mines. The closure, it said, has resulted in loss of direct and indirect employment and has affected over 3,00,000 households in Goa.

The total contribution of mining and its activities to Goa's state gross domestic product (GDP) has been much over 15 per cent. For two consecutive years, the Goa government in its annual budgets has conceded that around 20 per cent of its GDP decline is attributable to mining. The economic survey shows that Goa earned Rs 244.9 crore just as royalty in 2016-17 from iron ore extraction and exports. Since 2015, the state has collected Rs 118.7 crore for Goa Mineral Ore Permanent Fund.

The halt of mining activity has led to major loss of investor confidence which would have a long-term negative impact on Goa's economy, the study observed. The psychological and social costs of prolonged unemployment post the ban on mining in Goa has impacted harshly on the quality of life of affected individuals and families, it said. Experiences of low self-esteem and loss of self-identity impact on physical and mental health and can extend to broader consequences of social isolation and the loss of social networks and support, the study said.

The impact of redundancy causes family disruption and breakdown. Unemployment has been known to induce substance abuse. This savage impact can foster suicidal tendencies, marriage breakdowns, drug and alcohol abuse and much more. Goa has been hit with similar aspects of increased alcoholism leading to family upheavals and higher reported cases of domestic violence as a result of the same, it said. "Over 82 per cent of the respondents opined that in the near future the economy of the state would be further damaged due to the mining imbroglio.

They also mentioned that youth migration is high but would be much higher in the coming months and Goa would be a state with much of the youth and next generation absent," the study said. (PTI)

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