|April 12, 2018 at 11:19 am #8190|
In an effort to step up spending of funds collected under the district mineral fund (DMF), a meeting of stakeholders of mining-affected villages of Sonshi and Pissurlem is scheduled on Thursday.
The proposed meeting, at the office of the district collector (north), is between officials from the water resources department, PWD, BDO and panchayat members of the Sonshi and Pissurlem villages. The meeting is expected to discuss ways of fast-tracking disbursement of DMF funds for welfare of the two mining-affected villages.
On Wednesday, DMF committee members attended a meeting to take up issues relating to better use of money collected from mining leaseholders. The meeting was convened by the director of mines on request from both the collectors of north and south districts. About Rs 180 crore has been collected under the DMF of which only Rs 25 lakh has been sanctioned for construction of a pipeline to supply drinking water to Sonshi village.
An order of the High Court of Bombay at Goa issued on March 28 came down heavily on the government for poor track record of fund utilisation under DMF. The court had directed the collectors of both the districts to attend DMF committee meeting whenever they are held with the condition that the next meeting will be held in 15 days time. According, the directorate of mines had convened the meeting.
Goa is among the first mining states to set up a fund corpus created from 30 per cent of royalty contribution from mining companies. Money from the fund is to be utilised for the welfare of mining-affected in high priority areas such as drinking water, sanitation, health care, skilling, etc, of villages affected by mining. However, post creation of the fund, the use of it is dismal.
In the first DMF committee meeting on March 23, it was decided to disburse funds for promotion of agriculture, irrigation, dairy farming, horticulture, etc, in the mining-affected village of Sonshi. Additionally to address the issue of lack of drinking water, the decision to construct a pipeline was made.
The next hearing of the High Court on DMF utilisation is scheduled on April 12.
Source/Reference: Navhind Times, “Meeting to fast-track use of funds for welfare of Sonshi, Pissurlem villagers“