Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will soon address a press conference to clear the air over the ongoing mining impasse, the Deputy Speaker of Assembly Michael Lobo said on Monday. “He is the right person because he is the Minister of Mines as well,” Mr. Lobo said,adding, “in the next two to three days he will address a press conference and tell whether it (mining) is going to happen or not.” Mr. Parrikar, who has advanced pancreatic cancer, has not made an official public appearance for more than two months. He has also not moved out of his private residence except for a brief visit to the Goa Medical College Hospital since October 14, his return from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Reports from New Delhi indicate that the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, which mandates auctioning as the only route for allotment of iron ore mining leases, cannot be amended — as requested by the Goa government — to facilitate renewal of leases to existing holders. This has made the agitating mining dependents restless. Top Goa BJP leaders as well as some central leaders of the party have repeatedly assured the agitating mining dependent lobby in Goa, as also the mine owners, that the Central government would be amending the MMRD Act in the coming winter session of Parliament. Mr. Lobo who has been active on this front, also said it was necessary for Mr. Parrikar to communicate to the people of Goa about when and how he planned to resume mining.The Congress has beenattacking the government and accusing Mr. Parrikar as well as the BJP of trying to hide the fact that the Union Government had already rejected Mr. Parrikar’s request for amendment of MMRD Act. Mining in Goa was banned in February this year by the Supreme Court quashing second renewals of 88 mining leases, while also directing the State government to allot the leases afresh as per appropriate laws.
zoom Switzerland-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) plans to enhance its New Kiwi Service operating between Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand, by adding a new port of call into Bell Bay, Tasmania. The New Kiwi Service has been running in its current format since February 2015, with fixed weekly port calls into Bell Bay.The company is now offering two fixed port calls in Bell Bay each week and the service is linking Tasmania directly to Noumea and New Zealand.The first vessel to call at Bell Bay via the upgraded service will be the 2005-built boxship Malte Rambow on December 8, 2016.The port rotation of the New Kiwi Service will be as follows, with round trip transit times remaining unchanged: Sydney, Brisbane (Australia), Noumea (New Caledonia), Tauranga, Auckland (New Zealand), Bell Bay, Melbourne, Bell Bay, Sydney (Australia).Image Courtesy: MSC