Cabinet may take up Shah Commission report on Odisha mining tomorrow

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - 20:47

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet is expected to deliberate tomorrow on the report of Justice M B Shah Commission on illegal mining of iron and manganese ores in Odisha, sources said.

The Commission, whose term had ended on October 16, 2013, had submitted five-volume report to Union Mines Ministry in two parts -- July and October and said that all modes of illegal mining are being carried out in Odisha and miners are making "super normal profits", the sources added.

Post Cabinet approval, the report will be tabled in the Parliament, likely in next session, along with the action taken report by the government.

The Commission has also said that miners in the state "illegally and without lawful authority" have extracted iron ore worth thousands of crores, sources said.

Various issues including large scale violation of environment and forest laws, pollution in the mining areas and its impact on local population, flora and fauna have been dealt extensively by the Commission, they added.

The commission, set up in 2010 with a mandate to probe the nature and extent of illegal mining of iron and manganese ores and identify the responsible persons. Since its inception, the commission was granted two extensions of its original tenure of 18 months.
So far, it has submitted reports on illegal mining issues in iron and manganese ores in three states -- Goa, Odisha and Jharkhand. Of this, the report on Goa has been made public and has estimated a loss of Rs 35,000 crore to the exchequer due to illegal mining in the state.
Subsequently, it led to a Supreme Court imposed mining ban in the state in October, 2012. Presently, a case on extending the term of the Shah Commission is pending in the apex court.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - 20:47

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