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Govt oppose CBI probe into mining scam


Cuttack: The state government on Monday opposed the demand for CBI probe into the mining scam by filing an affidavit in high court stating that Supreme Court was looking over the issue and a judicial enquiry was instituted to probe all illegal mining in the country, including that in Orissa.

"As Justice MB Shah, retired judge of Supreme Court, has been appointed to lead a commission of enquiry for probing illegal mining of iron ore and manganese ores at various places in the country, including Orissa and has been authorised to take the services of any investigating agency, a CBI probe into Orissa mining scam may not be necessary," the affidavit filed by the state government said.

Responding to notices issued by the high court pertaining to as many as four PILs, the government said it had taken all preventive steps to stop illegal mining. Besides, a vigilance enquiry was in progress since the scam surfaced last year.

It had informed that in last four years till June 2009, at least 2823 cases of illegal mining were detected and around Rs1673 lakh realised as penalty.

Similarly, the vigilance directorate had registered at least seven cases on mining scam in which chargesheets had been filed against 16 people, the affidavit said.

It further maintained that 128 mining leases for various minerals including iron ore, manganese, chromites, and limestone had been suspended in the state while 482 licenses granted for trading and storage of minerals cancelled as part of measures to stop illegal mining.

Elaborating other measures adopted by the state government, the affidavit said a state-level enforcement squad was conducting intensive inspection of non-grant areas to check illegal mining while the mines department had begun verification of mining lease boundaries for which remote sensing technology was also proposed to be used.

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