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three commercial farms, Narsinv Plantations, Reliance Agro Industries and Hoysala Farms, have decided to challenge renewal of mining leases by the powerful mining industry in Goa. The farms are all owned by Margao-based traders and hoteliers and are located around 162 ha of hinterland forest area in Sanguem on the Karnataka border. This action is first of its kind in the four-decade-old mining history of Goa which has steadily been destroying the green cover of the hinterland.
In this forest area, over 30,000 trees including coconut, arecanut, cashew, rubber, pepper, citronella grass and several fruit-bearing trees have been grown for 30 years. But with 113 ha being leased out in 1956 for mining purposes, the area was severely threatened. The mining concession awaits renewal in November. The farmers had already resented the renewal one year ago. They fear that the area's entire crop which annually yields around Rs 10-15 lakh to each farmer, would be completely destroyed once mining commences.
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