Panaji: The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has initiated its inspection of iron ore mining leases in Goa after the Centre imposed a ban on handling of dumps since 2011.
A team of eight officials from MOEF and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) visited half a dozen mines in Sattari and Bicholim taluka as part of the inspection which began yesterday.
Sources said the team is down in Goa to verify whether iron ore from dumps (mining rejects) piled up in and around lease area is being exported.
Minister of Environment and Forest Jayanti Natarajan in a recent letter to the state government had raised the issue of mining dumps being handled illegally to which Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had responded in negative.
Also, the state government officials were in darkness over the current visit of the MoEF officials.
Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Richard D`Souza said the officials have not contacted the department to seek any help.
Goa is the biggest exporter of iron ore in the country. The state exported 43 Million metric tons of iron ore during last financial year.