British MP takes up cudgel against mining in Goa

London: A campaign mounted in Britain over environmental damage in Goa due to mining has received support from a British parliamentarian who has so far tabled two motions in parliament.

Carmen Miranda, through her London-based Save Goa Campaign UK (SGCUK), has caught the attention of a wide swathe of members of the British parliament.

Chief among them is Labour MP John Mcdonnell, who has so far tabled two motions in parliament addressing the “Mining and Environmental Damage in Goa” (July 7, 2012) and “Closure of Goan Mines” (Oct 12, 2012), co-sponsored by a score of fellow MPs.

“The demands to the mine owners, so far, are to show their documentation and paperwork and prove they are in order if they are allowed to operate again,” Miranda told IANS.

“The demands from the truck-owners and the barge-owners and other mining-dependent people are that they want to continue to earn a living in the mines by hook or by crook… because mining has been expanding without control, our demand is to cap the amount of mining done in Goa and phase out mining altogether as soon as possible.”

Miranda added: “High levels of corruption, most MLAs involved in mining, others receiving money from mine owners, total maladministration and chaos, lack of monitoring capacity and governance… meant that no one really knows exactly how many mines are illegal, but the fact is most mines were operating illegally one way or the other…”

On Oct 15, chaired by MP John McDonnell, a meeting was held at the Portculis House, an annexe of the Houses of Parliament.

A number of Goans as well as people sympathetic to the Goan cause attended this meet.

McDonnell’s keynote address and subsequent presentation by Miranda dwelt in detail on the conditions in the mining industry in Goa as well as its detrimental effects on the Goan people and environment.

By Alfred de Tavares 

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