Shah commission arrives in Odisha, to hear mines l

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 17:51

Bhubaneswar: A five-member team of Justice MB Shah Commission probing illegal mining activities in states, arrived here on Tuesday to hear mine owners and the Odisha government before finalising its report.

"This time we will hear the views of lessees on mining activities in the state. They have been served notices for the purpose," team leader UV Singh told reporters on his arrival.

The hearing, considered to be the last one before finalisation of the report, is likely to span three days. It would start tomorrow after the arrival of Justice M B Shah, Chairman of the commission.

The commission, which had apparently decided to wind up the hearing process last year, came here again as mine owners and Eastern Zonal Mining Association (EZMA) had in January requested the panel to give them a chance for putting forth their view on the allegations.

Odisha government had also urged the panel to hear its side on alleged illegal mining activities. The state government has meanwhile imposed penalty of about Rs 70,000 crore on certain mines for undertaking excess production beyond mining plans.

While the government termed excess ore production as violation of the mining plans, mine owners argued that they had paid royalty on the minerals additionally produced.

"As the government has received the royalty, it should not treat excess production as a violation," an owner said.

The commission has, during document verification in previous visits, found certain differences between the actual mining map and the picture taken from differential global positioning system, the sources said.

The state government will clarify to the commission about technical problems in the DGPS map, an official said.


First Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 17:51

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