Shah panel hints at mining irregularities; Final report by July

Bhubaneswar: Justice MB Shah Commission which had last month during state visit expressed its inability to meet the July 16 deadline, is now hopeful to submit its final report on illegal mining in the state to the central government.
 
“Much before July 16, we’ll submit the final report to the Centre,” retired Supreme Court judge and head of the panel justice MB Shah told OTV in Ahmedabad on Friday after hinting that glaring irregularities have been observed in many mining cases. 
 
“In most of the cases we have found violation of environmental clearance (EC) that means they (lessees) have not taken the EC.  Also in some cases forest clearance (FC) are not obtained….We are just finalising it after verifying from the parties,” justice Shah informed on Friday, one day before winding up the third phase of hearing.
 
The tenure of Justice Shah Commission which ends on July 16, 2013 heard the views of five lessees on Friday including D C Das, Kalinga Mining, and B G Dagra.
 
Six officials from Forest and Environment department and Pollution Control Board were present at the hearing to present the State Government’s views along with the counsels of lease holders.
 
On the other hand, the Commission will begin hearing on development proposal put forward by seven mining companies of Sundargarh and Keonjhar districts on April 19. 
 
The companies including KJS Ahluwalia, R P Sao, D R Patnaik, Indrani Patnaik, Sirajuddin & Co, and Thriveni Earthmovers on April 3 had announced to create a Rs 100 crore-plus corpus for peripheral development at mining areas in these districts. 
 
The move followed after the Commission asked for a blue-print on the socio-economic development of people living in miserable condition in the mining areas.