Shah panel members to visit Odisha for mine verification

Bhubaneswar: A two-member team of Justice M B Shah Commission, probing into illegal mining in Odisha is arriving here on Friday to take up the field verification of mine leases in Keonjhar and Sundergarh districts.
 
The team, represented by Biswajit Mishra, conservator of forests (Karnataka) and Janardan Prasad, geologist, Gujarat unit of Geological Survey of India, is scheduled to visit the mine areas of the districts on May 25 and 26. 
 
According to officials, the visiting members during their five-day State tour would check if the field verification was carried out in compliance with the panel’s guidelines. 
 
The Shah panel team will also inspect the procedure adopted by Odisha Remote Sensing Application Centre (ORSAC) for generation of digitized maps of mine leases at its laboratory. 
 
Highly placed sources said, the five teams currently undertaking the field verification of mining areas have so far completed 19 such areas, of the 44 mine leases where the fresh mapping survey was being carried out.
 
During his last Odisha visit, Justice Shah had agreed for a fresh survey of the mine leases after some mine lease holders questioned the authenticity of differential global positioning system (DGPS) map for demarcation of mining lease boundaries.