Shah panel's 1st phase Odisha mining probe report



Bhubaneswar: Set to submit its first phase investigation report into the alleged illegal mining in Odisha by December, the Justice M B Shah Commission on Saturday said its investigation would remain open till the last moment as its six-member team wound up the document verification here.

"We have verified documents of all iron ore mining leases in Odisha. Its number will be 145 to 150. However, some manganese mining lease cases cannot be taken up due to shortage of time. Anyway, our investigation is open till the last moment," said U V Singh, leader of the team of the Shah Commission.

Stating that they were satisfied over progress of probe in Odisha, he said there would be no preliminary report.

"There is no question of an interim report. We will submit the final report. However, certain reports will be placed before the central government phase wise," Singh, also principal conservator of forest, Karnataka told reporters.

Singh also said that the commission gathered in depth information about mining in the state by using its 'own sources'. He declined to divulge the commission's sources.

Singh said the commission collected vital information by questioning certain persons linked to mining.

The commission during its three phase probe has verified 160 iron ore and manganese mines of its target of 192 cases.

The remaining 32 cases were manganese mines.

Singh said the team has gathered information and documents on the mines. "The commission will seek more information if needed."

Director of Mines Dipak Mohanty said, "The commission is going to Ahmedabad tomorrow taking documents and information about remaining mines. If required, it may visit the state again. The state government fully cooperated with the commission."

PTI