Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday asserted that he was determined to crack down on illegal mining activity in his state. However, he ruled out a total ban on mining in Goa.
Speaking at a function in Mumbai, Parrikar said that he has already closed down five such illegal ones and more would follow in the coming months.
He said he would give a hearing to the affected parties. He said that Goa had curbed mining activity significantly, but a total ban was not feasible.
"More than 50% of Goa's population depends on mining," he added.
With the aim of reducing traffic congestion and easing pressure on existing roads, Goa would have dedicated roadways for trucks carrying minerals from these mines, the chief minister added.
Parrikar added that there was no problem of mining in the Western Ghats, which were granted heritage status by the UNESCO recently.
Last year, through a series of reports, Hindustan Times had revealed that illegal mining had cost Goa Rs. 3,000 crore - though some estimates had pegged the loss at Rs. 10,000 crore.
The HT stories had exposed how mines had come up with blatant disregard to environment laws with complicity of officials and politicians.