Two former Congress chief ministers of Goa - Digambar Kamat and Pratapsingh Rane – have been indicted by the Justice M B Shah commission looking into the Goa mining scam.
Moreover, the Shah panel's indictment of the union environment ministry for disregarding norms and Supreme Court orders to give clearances that facilitated rampant iron ore mining in Goa covers the period when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held charge of the environment and forests portfolio.
According to the Shah commission report, former chief minister Kamat indulged in abuse of power and was in the know of every illegality. The report also says that Kamat allowed certain individuals and companies to benefit at the cost of the environment.
The Shah Commission has also held all the top mining companies such as Sesa Goa, Salgaokar, Fomento and Chowgule in Goa guilty.
According to the report, iron ore is likely to be depleted in Goa in 20 years.
Mining has been banned in Goa after the commission report pegged illegal mining in the state to be worth Rs35,000 crore, with blatant abuse of power at the very top.
Adhering to the recommendation of the commission, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar decided to stop work at all the 90 mines in the state till a complete review was done.
The commission has held that the environment ministry failed to enforce its rule which required the miners to take clearance from the National Board of Wildlife (NBWL) for all projects falling within national parks and sanctuaries or within 10 kilometres of them. Instead, it delegated the power to give clearances to the chief wildlife warden in the state.