Opposition parties in Odisha have demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into an alleged large-scale mining scam in the state following the findings of the Justice MB Shah Commission being reportedly leaked out.
The Shah Commission has said 94 of the 192 iron-ore mining leases in Odisha do not have environmental clearance and 75, which have a green nod, have mined far beyond the approved level, media reports claim.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Biswabhushan Harichandan said the CBI should probe the matter under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
“Chief minister Naveen Patnaik always wanted a vigilance inquiry under his supervision, though he himself was not above suspicion,” the BJP leader said.
Reports also claim the commission has said mines have used a loophole in the law to extract iron at a time when international prices of the metal are high.
The Shah Commission has probed the alleged irregularities in Odisha for 17 months and submitted the final report to the central government on July 1.
Senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik said his party had demanded a CBI probe earlier as well.
“Now that the commission has given its findings, the state government must implement the recommendations of the commission and write to the Union government to notify a CBI probe,” Patnaik said, adding that it was the biggest corruption case in the history of Odisha.
The central government had sent a copy of the report to the state government about a month ago for a feedback before it is tabled in the next session of Parliament.
“The state government will send its feedback to the central government,” Odisha director of mines Deepak Mohanty told HT.
The commission’s reports filed earlier had pointed at large-scale illegal mining and corruption in the mining sectors of Goa and Karnataka.