Panaji: The state-run Panaji Minor Port
could have served as a `gateway` to export a huge amount of
illegal iron ore from the state, a senior official revealed,
while appealing the Goa Government to suspend the operations
at the port in "national interest".
In a letter written to state Chief Secretary, Mormugao
Port Trust (MPT) Chairman P Mara Pandiyan has said that almost
five million metric tones of unaccounted ore was exported
through this port during the last financial year (FY).
MPT, a major port in the state, is located in Vasco,
while the minor port in the state capital.
Both the ports cumulatively exported around 54 million
metric tones of ore during the last Financial Year.
Pandiyan`s letter comes in the backdrop of Justice M
B Shah Commission`s inquiry into alleged illegal mining in the
state, which began this week.
The commission has been probing various aspects of
illegal mining in the state, including exports by evading
"It is very important that this kind of rampant
unaccounted illegal mining as well as export has to be
stopped," Pandiyan said in his letter pointing out that the
whole responsibility of Panaji Port rests with the state
The letter reads: It is estimated that about 5 million
tons have been exported through Panaji Port as unaccounted
Iron ore. This has caused bleeding of royalty to state
exchequer and the people involved in this operation seemed to
have flouted all norms.
Pandiyan has requested the state government to suspend
the operations of Panaji minor port in national interest to
prevent plunder of national resources.
He stated that the port does not have any berth nor
any surveillance mechanism to monitor the quantity of ore
exported and exporters have utilised the lax vigilance to ship
millions of tons of illegally extracted iron ore.