'Banning iron ore export from Goa one of the possibilities' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Banning iron ore export from Goa one of the possibilities'

Putting a ban on the iron ore export from Goa is one of the possibilities explored by the Shah Commission during its investigations into the illegal mining scam in the state, a senior member said today.

india Updated: Oct 19, 2011 12:21 IST

Putting a ban on the iron ore export from Goa is one of the possibilities explored by the Shah Commission during its investigations into the illegal mining scam in the state, a senior member said today.

Justice RA Mehta, a senior member of the Commission, told PTI that banning the exports would be one of the options being considered to curb the illegalities in the trade.

Mehta is currently in Goa along with other team members of the Commission, including UV Singh, an Indian Forest Service officer.

Justice M B Shah, heading the Commission, had earlier said that ban on exports could be recommended as an interim measure. His statement had triggered panic among the people dependent on mining, who sought protection to legal mining.

The Commission has begun re-inspection of the mines after the first round pointed out several anomalies by the mining lease operators.

"It's premature to say whether there are illegalities in the mining trade in Goa. At this stage, we can't say that there is a scam or not," Mehta said.

"It's too early to compare Goa scenario with Karnataka," he said, adding that, the Commission is in the process of collecting data, which would be compiled to form the final report.

Mehta said that even though no specific time-line has been put as far as the mining probe in Goa is concerned, the entire probe into illegal mining trade in Goa, Orissa, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh would be completed by March 2012.

From Monday, the Commission members have begun visiting all the 90-odd operating and 32 non-functional mining leases in the state.

Sources stated that during its first round of inspections, the Commission had found nearly all the mines encroaching upon the adjoining areas.

"We can say almost 90% of the mining leases have some or other violations," a senior member of the Commission said.

Goa's mining industry is wading through crisis as illegal mining trade has taken over the legal trade. According to rough estimates, the illegal mining of Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 10,000 crore has been reported in the state.

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