Justice Shah to submit report on illegal mining in Goa in 45 days

A central government-appointed panel probing allegations of illegal mining in Goa, the biggest iron ore exporting state in the country, is expected to submit its report within 45 days, a television channel cited its chief as saying.

"In number of cases environmental clearance is granted for, say 55 million tonnes, and the removal is something more, apart from that there are no clearances.... we may have to verify each and every case and that may take time," MB Shah, head of the panel, told CNBC TV-18.

The state, which exported 54.4 million tonnes of iron ore last fiscal, is home to India's biggest private sector iron ore exporter, Sesa Goa.

Shah said unless iron ore exports were controlled and everything was streamlined, it would be very difficult to control illegal mining.

The iron ore sector had come under increased scrutiny by both the Supreme Court and the central government, which is trying hard to be seen to be coming down on corruption after being accused of failing to deal with graft.

The Supreme Court had banned mining iron ore from Karnataka's Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts amidst environmental degradation and allegations of illegal mining.

The Supreme Court relaxing the rules, allowed state-run NMDC to mine up to 1 million tonnes per month from Bellary region and allowed auctioning of 25 MT of unsold stocks to cater to the needs of local steel companies.