TNI Bureau: The Miners in Odisha need to be little more cautious as the Shah Commission, which is probing the illegal mining scam, is visiting the state on February 22. The panel headed by Justice MB Shah will quiz the miners and take state government’s views on the illegal mining operation.
Justice Shah is expected to submit his report on Odisha after visiting the state, scrutinising the data regarding the mineral lease validity, excavation and analysing other clearances.
This will be Justice Shah’s second visit to the state. Last time, he had visited several mines in Joda, Keonjhar after his team members led by UV Singh, additional PCCF, Karnataka visited the state twice in October and November last year.
The panel members had observed some violations of rules regarding clearances, lease area boundary and demarcation of forest and non-forest area. However, the miners claimed that the Commission probed such things on the basis of Google Earth images, which was not correct.
The Government of India had set up Justice M B Shah Commission to inquire into and determine the nature and extent of mining and trade and transportation, done illegally or without lawful authority, of iron ore and manganese ore, and the losses resulting there from. The panel was formed to identify, as far as possible, the persons, firms, companies and others that are engaged in such illegal mining, trade and transportation of iron ore and manganese.
The Commission’s report on Goa, which resulted in ban order in the state, the fate of Odisha miners will be decided by April 2013 after the report.
However, the miners did not spare a chance to show their hands clean alleging that the panel did not consider their plea. The allegation came from the mining associations such as East Zone Miners’ Association (EZMA) and Federation Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) ahead of the submission of the report.
The miners also said that they will not be liable for punishment if found guilty as they have paid royalty on minerals raised beyond permissible limits.