Goa : Stating that they have suffered losses worth over Rs 500 crore since mining ground to a halt in the state, the Goa Barge Owner’s Association (GBOA) on Monday urged for an immediate solution to the current mining stalemate.GBOA said that public and private sector banks are hounding barge owners due to non-payment of loans for barges. It has appealed to the central and state governments to bridge the gaps created by the mining ban and to prepare a congenial and debt-free atmosphere for the common man in the state.The association said that iron-ore mining in the state had helped build a small and medium enterprises (SME) of truckers, machine owners and river barge owners.
The association said that presently, all these business owners and their families are witnessing a bleak future as there has not been any clear direction from the government on resumption of mining. With money-lending companies also harassing them for repayment, barge owners say they have had to resort to selling personal assets.GBOA president Atul Jadhav said, “There were 304 barges in Goa before mining was banned by the Supreme Court. Today, we are left only with 105 barges and these too are getting worn out because we do not have money for their maintenance.” He also said that in the current scenario, people working in the ‘Rs 13,00-crore worth industry’ have no money to even feed their families.
The News24 Goa