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Rashmi Rekha Das

Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi on Monday targeted the state government over irregularities in mines stating that due to collusion between state government machinery and private players in the newly-auctioned private mines, Odisha witnessed massive corruption and loss to the state exchequer to the tune of thousands of crores.

According to allegations levelled by the BJP MP, the share of low-grade iron ore in 2019-2020 was 23 per cent of ores which increased to 95% in financial year 2021-2022.  

She further claimed that the Shah Commission, set up by the Centre in November 2010, gave its report regarding various irregularities including Odisha government’s turning a blind eye to illegal mining in different mines of the State. Following Shah Commission’s report, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of Odisha slapped Rs 65,000 crore penalty on defaulting iron ore and manganese mine owners in the state. 

“Though the state government was aware of the scam, it had not paid heed to Shah Commission’s report”, she maintained.

However, private miners and government officials are yet to make their stand on the issue.

Addressing the media, she said, “The Shah Commission stated that the extent of irregularities in the mining sector in Odisha was to the tune of Rs 59,000 crore. It was expected that after Shah Commission’s report, illegal mining in Odisha was out, the state government would make sincere attempts to check irregularities. But the corruption and irregularities, instead of being checked, found new ways under the BJD government."

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