SC panel seeks more info on ore production, export

The Supreme Court’s (SC) Central Empowered Committee (CEC), which was unable to submit its report within the stipulated period to the apex court,  has sought additional information from State government over iron ore production, export and sale within the country, for last five years from 2006-2011.

The three members of CEC, who were down in Goa, last month had inspected around 12 mines in North and South Goa. The committee has now asked for additional information on environment clearance, mining plans, production and export along with the royalty figure, for the last five years. The committee has asked for information on sale of iron ore within the country, if any.

The details are sought from around 100-odd mining leases, which according to the Department of Mines and Geology records were operational between 2006-2011. Currently, there are 90 mining leases which are operational.

Sources said that CEC has directed the department to furnish the details as soon as possible.  Mines department, in October, had submitted a 100-page report consisting information on encroachments, excess production, mining around wildlife sanctuaries, condonation of delay, royalty challans, total export and other mining activities, which were under scanner of the Shah Commission.

The Committee members during their five-day visit in Goa, had also shown interest towards mining dumps, stacked across the state.

On October 5, SC had halted all mining activities in the State pending report from CEC. The CEC was asked to furnish the report within four weeks. However, the report has not been submitted yet.

Several village panchayats and four municipalities from the mining belt have written a letter of appeal to the chief justice of India, requesting that legal mining be resumed immediately. Goa government, one of the respondents in the case, would also be filing an affidavit requesting to resume legal mining. [H]