Goa: Shah Commission to analyse mines data



Panaji: Justice MB Shah Commission, probing alleged instances of illegal mining in Goa, has completed the process of collecting data from the iron ore mines across the state and will be analysing the same, a senior officer said on Sunday.

According to the official, eight teams under the panel had inspected 90 operating mines and 32 non-operating mines in the coastal state in the wake of prevalent illegalities at various levels in iron ore mining.

"The inquiry is just at a preliminary state. We need to analyse it (data) and seek more clarifications, if required," he said.

Goa is the largest exporter of iron ore in the country with around 54 million metric ton of ore being exported from both the ports in the state.

Justice Shah Commission began inquiring into illegal mining trade as part of its nationwide inquiry which commenced with the state of Karnataka where it brought under scanner several mining barons who were booked for illegal mining.

The probe panel officials had arrived in Goa during mid-September and launched investigations by scrutinising documents from the State Mines and Geology department, Forest Department, Revenue Department and Goa State Pollution Control Board.

The commission is also probing whether the mining leases have encroached upon the nearby lands.

The inquiry has rattled the Digambar Kamat-led Congress government, mired into allegations of illegal mining, to sit up and take note of the illegalities. In the background of the inquiry, Forest department has already issued notices to 19 mines working close to the wildlife sanctuaries and national park to suspend operations.

Similarly, Goa State Pollution Control Board has issued notices to 40 mines for not having consent under Water and Air Pollution Control Board Act.

Goa state Legislative Assembly's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has also issued notices to 48 mining leases in the state.

The Commission is expected to submit its report in next 15 days to the Central government.

PTI