Shah commission arrives in State, to hear mines lessees

Bhubaneswar: A five-member team of Justice M B Shah Commission probing illegal mining activities in states, arrived here on Wednesday to hear mine owners and Odisha govenment before finalising its report.
"This time we will hear the views of lessees on mining activities in the state. They have been served notices for the purpose," team leader U V Singh told reporters on his arrival here.
The hearing, considered to be the last one before finalisation of the report, is likely to continue for three days. The hearing would start tomorrow after arrival of Justice M B Shah, Chairman of the commission.
The commission which had apparently decided to wind up the hearing process last year, came here again as mine owners and Eastern Zonal Mining Association (EZMA) in Jaunary requested the panel to give them a chance to put forth their point of view on the allegations.
Odisha government had also urged the panel to hear its point of view in the alleged illegal mining. The state government has meanwhile imposed penalty of about Rs 70,000 crore on certain mines for undertaking excess production beyond mining plans.
While the state government termed excess ore production as violation of the mining plans, mine owners argued that they had paid royalty on the minerals produced in excess.
"As the government has received the royalty, it should not treat excess production as a violation," a mines owner said.
This apart, the commission during document verification in previous visits had found certain difference between the actual mining map and the picture taken from differential global positioning system, the sources said.
The state government will clarify to the commission about technical problems in the DGPS map, an official said.