In a positive move for the mining industry, the Goa government has finally permitted the state mining industry to resume its operation in Goa. “The Goa government had restricted mining operation due to monsoons. With the monsoons behind us, mining industry can resume its operations,” says Vaikundarajan, founder of VV Minerals India, one of the largest sand beach mining companies in India.
Mining operations should be in full swing by the start of October. Prasanna Acharya, director of Mines and Geology, issued a statement informing the mining companies of the ban having been lifted.
The transportation of mineral by road was banned in the interest of public safety after some accidents on the main road came to light. On the request of locals, the government decided to ban transportation of minerals till monsoon had rescinded.
“Public safety is of utmost importance. With the lack of mining transportation roads in Goa, the trucks took to main road. A couple of accidents were reported by locals and the government was quick to take an action. Transportation was suspended till monsoon was over. The government also plans to construct a dedicated road for mining transportation,” says Vaikundarajan.
According to a blueprint being prepared by the government for the mining industry, mineral production in India needs to grow by 15% every year, so that mining’s share in India’s economic output can increase by 1 percentage point in the next 2-3 years.
“For mining industry to grow, mining operations need to begin at hundreds of mines which are stalled due to delays by government in providing environmental clearances, approvals and execution of lease deeds”, reflects Vaikundarajan, Founder of VV Minerals.
The mining ministry plans to execute the lease deeds of about 70-80 mines for which approvals were granted before 12 January 2015, when the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act of 2015 came into operation. Additionally, about 100 mines are going be auctioned shortly.
The share of the mining and quarrying industry in gross value addition (GVA) in the economy is 2.4% at present. Minerals currently account for only 0.43% of GVA. Mining output increased by 9% in 2015-16 and 10.6% in the April-July period of 2016-17, according to official estimates.
Though there is uncertainty prevailing over a recovery in mineral prices. Despite this impressive growth in mineral production in Apr-July, growth by value contracted 7.2%.
“A recovery in mineral prices will depend on demand from user industries. But India is a consuming country, where volume of output holds more importance than value”, adds Vaikundarajan.
Villagers in Sanguem and Quepem talukas in South Goa have been concerned by the resumption of iron ore transportation activities in the area. Their concern points out at the lack of a bypass road to carry out the transportation.
The villagers met with Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar with a request for mining bypass on war-footing. Furthermore, the villagers put forth the demand to stop transportation activities till the bypass was ready and functional.
“The mining bypass is to be completed in three phases, however, has been delayed for now. This results in the trucks taking the main road and causing several fatal accidents,” explains Vaikundarajan, founder of VV Minerals, largest sand beach mining company in India.
The villagers explained that the bypass must be completed in all 3 phases – Uguem to Guddemol, Guddemo to Curchorem and Pirla to Uguem – before resuming the iron ore transportation. In March, two women in the village met with a fatal accident adding to the villager’s agitation.
“Around 6000 trucks are operational in Sanguem, Quepem and Curchorem. The issue was raised with the Assembly Session. The body has agreed to construct the mining bypass as soon as possible,” informs Vaikundarajan.
It is no surprise that false allegations are thrown around to gain mileage for the upcoming elections. Just before the elections in the state of Tamil Nadu, old allegations have surfaced with a new twist. It is being said that Jayalalitha has invested her black money in a company owned by S Vaikundarajan, founder of VV Minerals India, a sand beach mining company.
The opposition party has shown sign of desperation by pointing fingers at Jayalalitha who is expected to be the winner of 2016 Tamil Nadu elections. VV Minerals and S Vaikundarajan are the favourite talk of the town for the people of Tamil Nadu. It might have seemed easy to link them and fool the common man. But the assumption itself seems preposterous in the first place.
The allegations also suggest that Jayalalitha has been secretly assisting Vaikundarajan in the illegal sand beach mining controversy surrounding VV Minerals. Apparently, the financial links between Vaikundarajan and Jayalalitha have been traced by the Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party. Such revelations surfacing just before the elections indicate a lot about the nature of information being given to the common man. AAP has further alleged that Jayalalitha is also involved in the illegal beach mining in the state of Tamil Nadu.
VV Minerals is the largest beach-mining company in India. It specialises in the mining, production and export of Garnet and Ilmenite. The company is booming under the leadership of the young Managing Director, S Vaikundarajan.