A petition was filed on Wednesday in the Supreme Court to restrain the resumption of iron and manganese ore mining in Goa amid a judicial commission estimating a loss of R35,000 crore to the exchequer due to illegal mining in the state since 2000.
It also sought to restrain trade and transportation of ore already mined and existing in the leasehold area, in transit or stored or stocked on the jetties in the state.
A PIL petition filed by an NGO, Goa Foundation, also sought setting up of a special probe agency to investigate the alleged loss to the state revenue, the illegalities committed in mining activities and the connivance of public servants in abetting the same.
Citing the Justice (Retd) M B Shah commission report, the PIL alleged that “iron ore worth R35,000 crore was plundered by the mining companies, committing theft of government property.”
The government of Goa suspended mining after the Shah commission report was tabled in Parliament on September 7. This was followed by the suspension of environment clearances for all 93 mining leases by the environment ministry. The ban in Goa follows a blanket ban imposed by the SC in Karnataka in August 2011.