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Goa house panel wants CBI to probe illegal mining

Panaji, July 20 (IANS) A committee of the Goa assembly called for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into illegal mining, which has become a multi-crore industry in the state.

In a report tabled in the assembly Tuesday, chairman of the ad hoc committee on mining Pandurang Madkaikar said the present rules also needed to be amended to prevent illegal mining.

It called for a ‘detailed investigation by an independent and competent body such as the state vigilance department with efficient co-operation and co-ordination of the CBI’ and asked police and administration to take the matter seriously to prevent illegal mining activities.

Stating that measures against illegal mining needed to be undertaken on a war footing, the report also sought an amendment of the Mines and Minerals Act, 1957 immediately to ‘prevent illegal mining’.

‘The continuing mining over a long period of time without the renewal of the mining leases (has) becomes a potential source for serious illegalities and irregularities,’ the report said.

Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar has accused Chief Minister Digambar Kamat of sheltering the illegal mining industry. He alleged that the Rs.6,000 crore mining industry in Goa was riddled with illegal mining in which several cabinet ministers were involved.

Parrikar also claimed that nearly 20 percent of the 40 million tonnes of ore exported out of Goa was illegal.

–Indo Asians News Service

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