Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat
met members of the Shah Commission as a part of the inquiry
initiated against the illegal mining trade in the state.
Kamat, who also holds the mining portfolio, had a lengthy
discussion with Justice M B Shah and his key member U V Singh
Shah Commission had said that if required they would
summon Chief Minister for the inquiry. Sources said that Kamat
was not summoned but went on his own to meet the members.
Another Congress minister Vishwajit Rane also met the
Commission expressing the apprehensions that legal mining
should not be affected in a quest to stop illegal mining in
"I told the Commission that legal mining should not be
stopped. There are several thousand families who are dependent
on this trade," he said adding that Bicholim and Sattari
talukas, represented by him, has several mining leases and
people dependent on them to eke out living.
"After Bellary situation, there is a fear that
Commission`s report will also clamp down on legal mining in
There should be proper line drawn between legal and
illegal," Rane said.
The minister clarified that he was neither summoned nor
sent by Congress party to represent before Commission.
"I went there on my own," he said.
Eight teams of Shah Commission aided by state government
have launched extensive investigation illegal mining in the
As per rough estimates, illegal mining in Goa is pegged
to be between Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 10,000 crore. Goa exported
around 54 million metric tones of iron ore last year through
its two ports.