Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Mines Pralhad Joshi to seek solutions to restart the mining industry in Goa, which stands banned by the Supreme Court since 2018. Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a function in Panaji on Sunday, Mr. Sawant said he would meet them both after Mr. Joshi familiarises himself with his portfolio. He reiterated that resolving the mining deadlock was a priority for his government. Last month, Mr. Sawant had said harvesting of mining dumps near the mining leases was one of the options his government was examining to resume the mining activity in the interest of stakeholders, despite the Supreme Court ban on mining in 88 leases. There are currently over 736 million tonnes of iron ore dumped in mountain-like heaps in Goa’s mining belt. Mr. Sawant is expected to finalise a policy for dump ore harvesting by July this year.
As Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna were struggling to find their rhythm against Serbians Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac in the doubles rubber on Saturday, there was one very recognisable face sitting quietly on an aisle seat next to the section meant for VVIPs. Legendary Indian off-spinner Erapalli Prasanna’s interest for tennis dragged him to the KSLTA stadium here and he had a night to remember.While bigwigs from the Karnataka government and the state tennis body watched India’s doubles pair fight back from their comfortable couches, Prasanna looked at ease sitting on the plastic bucket seatsmeant for the public. “I love this game,” was Prasanna’s immediate reply when Mail Today reached out to him. “I follow this sport very closely. It’s not just cricket that I follow, I have interest in a lot of other sports and tennis definitely comes somewhere at the top.”Occasionally, people waved at him and Prasanna acknowledged them by raising his arms. “They are my friends. They know me well,” he added.In his heyday, Prasanna’s guile, accuracy and loop made him a constant threat to batsmen. The 74-year-old, who led Karnataka to two Ranji Trophy titles, scalped 189 wickets in 49 Tests. But it was captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi who brought the best out of him. He would challenge the batsmen to come out and hit him over the top, and with the flight he would offer, it was always enticing. A majority of Prasanna’s wickets – 116 –came under the captaincy of Pataudi. The diminutive off-spinner was always a threat to the batsmen he played against, but beyond that he was always a gentleman.advertisementSo what was a cricketer doing at the tennis court? Pat comes the reply: “I follow tennis very closely. I watch ATP events, Grand Slams and, with the Davis Cup tie happening in Bangalore, I had to be here. I wanted to see [Novak] Djokovic here but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. “I love watching Roger Federer but Djokovic is surely my favourite at the moment.”Besides giving time to his academy, Prasanna loves playing golf and Bopanna, who is a local boy, often turns up to play with the former cricketer and his friends at the Bangalore Golf Club. The International Premier Tennis League, the brainchild of Mahesh Bhupathi, is something that Prasanna wants to see unfold now. “I want to see it happening in India and I would love to watch the top players play live in front of me at the stadium. I will be there to see the matches in India,” he promised.