Red alert for Shah commission visit

Bhubaneswar: The five member Justice Shah commission constituted by the Centre to probe into irregularities in the mining sector in several states including Odisha would be visiting the state from December 7. The committee, sources said, would mainly focus on the irregularities in iron ore and manganese excavation and trade and would study the steps taken by the government to check illegal activities in the mining sector.

A kind of red alert has been sounded on the steel and mines department in the wake of the visit of the Shah commission. While close door meetings between higher-ups has become very common, the officials are over busy in the preparation of the report to be submitted to the commission. The M B Shah commission would especially look into matters like violation of IBM guidelines by mining companies, violation of environment and fores rules as well as unlawful excavation by the companies in the name of deemed extension of permits for excavation. The commission would investigate the activities of about 188 mining companies in the state.

The five member commission during its three day visit would tour Joda, Barbil and Koida areas for on the spot inquiry about the activities of the mining companies. The commission would also probe into allegations against mining companies. The commission had earlier sent a list of 60 questions relating to the mining sector to the state government. The government has meanwhile met all the querries of the commission.