‘Illegal mining may shut legal mines’

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 10:17

Panaji: Goa Assembly`s Public Accounts
Committee (PAC) is understood to have expressed fears that if
illegal mining in the state is not curbed, even the legal
mines here will face closure, highly-placed sources said.

The PAC report, which will be tabled in the House during
the Assembly session that begins on Wednesday, has reportedly
indicted the state government for allegedly encouraging
illegal mining.

It is learnt that the report says that illegal mining has
resulted in strain on infrastructure, ecology, agriculture and
threatens to destroy the water security of the state if it is
not controlled immediately.

"During the series of meetings, the PAC observed that the
overburden of illegal mining is damaging the prospects of
legal mining," the source stated.

The PAC report, which has relied on the data provided by
Directorate of Mines and Geology (DOMG) and Forest Department,
has calculated that annually around 20 million tonnes of ore
is exported from the state.

"The total value of the ore that is mined in violation of
the law on Mining and Environment exceeds Rs 4,000 crore
annually," the sources stated.

It is learnt that the report has directly indicted
politicians and officers from the Mines as well as the Forest
Department, including their secretaries and director of Mines
Department.

According to sources, the report says that details like
involvement of politicians, quantum of illegalities and
financial transactions, etc can only be known after a
thorough investigation.

The report is understood to have recommended that an
independent agency like CBI or Lokayukta be asked to probe
into illegal mining nexus being carried out in connivance of
local politicians, bureaucrats of the Mines and Forest
departments and police force.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 10:17

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