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Overall impacts of mining on the state economy of goa: A comparative perspective of pre and post mining ban periods

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Author: 
Dnyandev C. Talule and Guruprasad R. Naik
Abstract: 

The Mining has been playing an important role in the economy of Goa. It is foreign exchange earner for the country and contributor both to the state exchequer and the GSDP of Goa before the post Shah Commission ban was imposed in Sept. 2012. Recently, it has been designated as the industry at par with tourism. It has provided trigger to boost the local economy of the mining taluks. Certain natural factors like the presence of coastline, a very good natural harbour situated at the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), Vasco-da-Gama and a web of navigable perennial rivers has facilitated economic exploitation present in the state of Goa. As compared to road and rail transport barges is the fastest and cheapest mode of ore movement. Goa has title of state that exports high amount of iron ore nearly above 50 per cent of country’s exports. During the pre-ban period Goa amounted to nearly Rs. 1000 crore per year according to foreign exchange reserves position. Mining in Goa is carried out by mining method called as open-cast method where the removal of overburden is a priority that lies above the ore deposits. Ratio of the excavated overburden to actual ore in Goa is also high and is almost 3 to 1. On yearly basis the average production of iron ore is almost 16 million tonnes. Large amount of removed topsoil (overburden) deposition or storage at the mining sites creates headache to mine owners as its presence on the mining sites without covering it up and without undertaking any precautionary measures for the same has led to many environmental hazards and other respiratory problems. If the solid waste left untreated as it is then is washed down in the rivers by monsoon rainfall and in the sea bed thus causing both ground water pollution and adversely affecting the fish and other creatures in the sea. During the monsoon this untreated mine waste is also washed in to the cultivation fields because the mine fields of Goa are in a close proximity of agricultural fields. Under such circumstances for many farmers it has made them to completely abandon the cultivation. And for many others the mining pollution has been instrumental in reducing agricultural yield levels. Transportation of iron ore has also affected agricultural fields adversely in the proximity. The effect of dust has adversely affected the crops in the fields. The pits that are left behind after mining is done are to be taken care of accordingly as prescribed by the law. But the majority of mines leave these pits open thus creating a breeding ground for various pests and flies that causes diseases such as Malaria, etc. This has adversely affected the people living in the proximity of mining areas. Mining has also threaded the forest cover as well as posing irreversible damage to the ecosystem. Mining corporations are also indulging in illegal mining in some areas without proper permits. It is with this approach the present researcher has made an attempt to study the impacts of mining on the state economy of Goa. Mainly the study is based on the primary data obtained from two taluks respectively one each from the North and South Goa where mining before the post Shah Commission ban of September 2012 was in full swing. Study is limited to two taluks respectively one is from South and North Goa. The taluks are Sanguem and Bicholim. Another significant confinement of the present study is that it is based on the primary data obtained from a total of 204 households from the above mentioned respective taluks in the vicinity of which iron ore mines are located. The period of the primary data collection comprises of the period between November 2014 and April 2015.

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               Prof. Dr. ISMAIL YILDIRIM

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