Panaji : The Goa assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Saturday pegged the quantum of illegal mining in the state at Rs.1,200 crore, a day after the Bombay High Court issued notice to 48 mining companies for excessive mining in their leases.
“More than 6 million tonne of ore has already been illegally extracted. It is worth Rs.1,200 crore,” a PAC member said, adding the committee was perusing the documents related to the scam.
The Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court, comprising Justices D.G. Karnik and F.M. Reis issued the notice on a public suit by green NGO Goa Foundation.
The NGO argued that the mining companies, which include the Dempo Mining Corporation, and local mining companies like Timblo Irmaos, V.M. Salgaoncar and Bros, Chowgule Co., “were extracting ore in violation of environment clearances limit granted to them” by the union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF).
The court also issued notice to the MoEF.
“The mining companies make self declarations of the amount of iron ore extracted and the mining department has no mechanism to verify the ore actually extracted,” the petitioner said.
Also on Friday, the Supreme Court extended the mining ban in the iron ore-rich Bellary to Tumkur and Chitradurga districts in Karnataka.