Costi is around 65 kilometres from the Goa capital Panaji. The village and its roads, previously full of lorries and trucks transporting the ore when mining was in full swing, now wear a forlorn look.
Curchorem: There’s bleakness in the warm afternoon air in south Goa’s Costi village; because there’s a big question mark on the future of mining operations in the area, which was heavily dependent on the nearby Chowgule iron ore mine.
For 26 years, Rama Naik, a resident of the village, worked at that iron ore processing plant and earned enough to run his household. Now, he is barely scraping by. “I used to earn Rs 30,000 a month by working on beneficiation at the plant when mining was on.
Now, I do odd jobs and don’t even get Rs 3,000 every month. The past three-four years have been tough; when mining came to a complete standstill, I quit. I have no hope it will ever resume,” Naik said.
Costi is around 65 kilometres from the Goa capital Panaji. The village and its roads, previously full of lorries and trucks transporting the ore when mining was in full swing, now wear a forlorn look. These mines, which used to employ hundreds, now have a lone security guard to keep trespassers away. The locals often reminisce about the days when one had to navigate through the long lines of trucks and packed roads to go about their daily chores.
And though many see the mining issue and elections as unrelated, they aren’t blind to political parties using the issue as “an election tool” to make new promises about restarting mining. Goa, which voted on 23 April, recorded a voter turnout of 74.72 percent in the Lok Sabha elections and 80.25 percent in the three Assembly bypolls held simultaneously.