PAC to probe illegal iron-ore extraction in Goa
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 16:38
Panaji: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) constituted by the Goa Legislative Assembly will now probe into the increasing illegal mining activities, carried out at the cost of forest cover in state's iron-ore rich rural belt.

The Committee has begun an exercise to study the data submitted by State Forests and State Mines and Geology Departments to pinpoint the exact amount of plundering of ore resources in the state's remote talukas.

PAC led by Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar has begun the probe into illegal mining in Sattari, Quepem and Sanguem talukas, which have maximum forest cover.

The talukas are also home to protected forests like Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park and Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, the area which is tipped to be declared as a 'Tiger Reserve' by Central Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF).

Sources stated that both the departments were initially reluctant to submit the detailed data, which was finally procured when Chief Secretary Sanjay Srivastava, was summoned by the high-power committee on Monday.

The multi-crore illegal mining scam was exposed in the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) report, which is being further probed by the PAC.

When contacted, Parrikar said the Committee will go through the data and investigate illegal mining in these talukas with rich forest cover. The comparison of data will help to project a real picture, he said.

The Leader of Opposition in past had raised concerns on the mining in Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary and cutting of trees to allow the iron ore extraction.

Parrikar said PAC will not fix the responsibility on individuals but will point out how forests are being plundered in these rural talukas.


First Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 16:38

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