Crores lost in illegal mining and exports in Jharkhand, Goa

Justice MB Shah Commission reported illegal mining worth over Rs 22,000 crore in Jharkhand, unlawful ore exports to the tune Rs 2,747 crore from Goa and blatant encroachment in Odisha by companies.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 04, 2014, 23:55 PM IST

New Delhi: The Justice MB Shah Commission on Monday reported illegal mining worth over Rs 22,000 crore in Jharkhand, unlawful ore exports to the tune Rs 2,747 crore from Goa and blatant encroachment in Odisha by companies.

Alleging "flagrant misuse" of rules, the commission in its report tabled in Parliament today suggested cancellation of leases, recovery of lost revenue and punishing errant officials, who colluded with the miners.

The M B Shah Commission, appointed to probe on illegal iron and manganese ore mining, found big corporates like Tata Steel, SAIL and Essel Mining as well as medium and small firms Usha Martin and Rungta Mines guilty of wrongdoings and violation of rules.
In Jharkhand alone, iron ores worth over Rs 22,000 crore and manganese ore valued around at Rs 138 crore were extracted "illegally and without lawful authority" by firms like state-run SAIL, Tata Steel and others, the Commission said.

The Commission in its first report on Jharkhand said 18 leases were running under deemed extension without having environment approvals and 22 were carrying mining in violation of norms.

The Commission also said there is a difference of 53.41 MT of iron ore production in the figures of Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) and state government data.

The "mineral value of such difference of quantity of ore comes to about Rs 8,685 crore" which might have been sold to the nearby illegally operated crusher holders.
The second report on Odisha showed companies such as Tata Steel and Aditya Birla Group`s Essel Mining and Industries carrying out mining operations beyond the leased areas.

Suggesting that mining leases could also be cancelled in cases in Odisha where the encroachment is more than 15 per cent of the leased area, it said assessment of the ore removed from illegal encroached quarry pits should be done and its value should be recovered from the lessees besides imposing appropriate penalty on them.