Illegal mining has to be stopped, else Goa will perish | india | Hindustan Times
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Illegal mining has to be stopped, else Goa will perish

Manohar Parrikar (56), a metallurgy engineering graduate from IIT Bombay, admits to illegal mining in Goa but denies there is any mafia involved. Rather, he puts it down to lax administration, which he wants to tone up after taking over as CM on Friday.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2012 23:57 IST
Ramesh Babu

Manohar Parrikar (56), a metallurgy engineering graduate from IIT Bombay, admits to illegal mining in Goa but denies there is any mafia involved. Rather, he puts it down to lax administration, which he wants to tone up after taking over as CM on Friday. Edited excerpts:

Did you expect such a win?
Yes. Our target was 28 seats (out of 40 in the assembly). The demand for change was getting louder by the day. We could gauge the feeling of the common man. They are fed up with corruption and nepotism. Youngsters, who usually take little interest in the poll process, turned up in large numbers. We have to live up to their expectations.

Corruption was a main issue. Will you impose a blanket ban on mining?
There is no need for a blanket ban. My priority is getting the administration back on track. But we have to check illegal units and rationalise the sector. Illegal mining will have to stop, else Goa will perish. We will appoint a lokayukta and let it probe everything.

But the mining mafia is well-entrenched?
I don’t think there is any mafia behind this. But when the authorities slackened, illegal mining thrived. Those who supported it will have to pay a heavy price. Let the (MB) Shah Commission report be made public. I assure you illegal mining will be stopped.

There are reports that Russians are buying property in Goa.
I am aware of this. Many bought property by proxy. I think effective policing and revenue norms will help check this. I will examine these cases personally.

With the influx of outsiders, do the Goans feel insecure?
In a federal polity, we can’t control outsiders. But we have to protect local interests also. With the realty boom, illegal mining and other maladies, it is natural that the locals will feel insecure. My government will help dispel these fears.

Any larger role for you in national politics?
Being a favourite of the RSS, there were talks that the sangh first proposed your name but later Nitin Gadkari came in (as BJP chief). I am not aware of this.