Shah Commission team to visit Odisha on May 24

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of preparing the final report on the illegal mining in Odisha, a two-member team of the Justice M B Shah Commission will visit the state on May 24, official sources said.
 
Two members of the Justice Shah Commission investigating team – Biswajeet Mishra and Prasad – will undertake visit to mine areas where physical verification of lease boundary are underway.
 
The commission during its last visit in February had ordered physical verification of lease boundary area after a number of lessees raised question on the accuracy of Differential Geographical Positioning System (DGPS).
 
DGPS was used for demarcation of mining lease boundaries in the state, before the Justice M B Shah Commission inquiring large scale irregularities in iron ore and manganese mines, the sources said.
 
The mine lessees had objected to the state government's map prepared basing on the DGPS using the Google Earth Image and based on the figures of the Base Map prepared manually way back in the 1960s.
 
Justice Shah had allowed physical verification of 44 leasehold areas, they said. The Department of Steel & Mines (DoSM) has constituted five teams to go in for physical verification of the 44 mines.
 
The commission had allowed physical verification of mines owners of which agreed to bear the cost of a fresh survey at the rate of Rs 2 lakh per square kilometer of the mining area, the sources said.