Goa govt told to report on iron ore export via MPT

Last Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 13:05

Panaji: Armed with a report prepared by the
former Karnataka Lokayukta on illegal mining, the Ministry of
Mines has asked the Goa government to furnish data on the
allegations that the Mormugao Port Trust was exporting iron
ore even after the state banned the activity.

Officials in the State Mines and Geology Department said that the ministry, in a recent meeting in Delhi, asked the
Goa government "to furnish details on the Karnataka ore
exported through the state during the last five years".

The ministry also asked the state officials to produce
data on the quantum of Karnataka ore allegedly used for
blending with local low-grade ore during the last five years.

The State Mines and Geology department will have to submit
data for the years from 2005, when demand in the Chinese
market boosted iron ore exports, till the year 2011, when the
mining scam came to the light.

Former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde, who had
blown the lid off the scam, claimed that 45 lakh tonnes of
high grade ore was exported through Goa`s Mormugao Port Trust
(MPT).

The investigations pointed out that the ore was brought
from Karnataka in the guise of blending it with local
low-grade ore, which is non-consumable by the steel industry,
and in fact exported through the port even though Karnataka
had banned exports.

The Lokayukta report also questioned the export of high
grade ore, with as much as 64 per cent Fe content, from the
Goa port, when the state does not have such a kind of ore.

Justice Santosh Hegde told PTI that local authorities were
involved in the illegalities.

The Ministry of Mines, which had taken up the matter
seriously, also decided to ask the Railways Ministry to give
details of the ore brought by wagon from Karnataka to Goa.

"The Indian Bureau of mines (IBM) would record the data,"
the officials added.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 13:05

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