The Shah Commission, which is probing illegal mining in the country, in its report submitted to the Centre has said that if a lessee or licencee is found to have gone beyond
PANAJI: The Shah Commission, which is probing illegal mining in the country, in its report submitted to the Centre has said that if a lessee or licencee is found to have gone beyond the lease area for mining iron ore then the lease or licence is liable to be terminated after 30 days’ show-cause notice is issued.
The panel also wanted the government not to rely on statement made by the owner or transporter with regard to weight of the minerals and recommended installation of computerised weighbridges and GPS and radio frequency identification to monitor ore transporting vehicles.
In its conclusion, the report submitted by Mr Justice M B Shah pointed out "… it is apparent that as there is no proper enforcement of Rule 2 of Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 Part VII which deals with rents, royalties and taxes, circular dated 06-04-2010 and Section 24(1) of the Act; mining without lease or mining outside the lease area is continuing unabated. Therefore, more and more inspections of the mines are necessary. Not only inspection, but the record thereof is also required to be maintained with a specific note that mining operation is in the lease area. If it is found that mining operation is beyond the lease area, immediate action should be taken."
It suggested that amendment to Section 24(1) of the Mines and Mineral Act and Rules 26 and 27 of Mineral Concession Rules be made for controlling illegal mining beyond lease area or mining without lease or licence. It is necessary to amend the provisions of Section 24(1) of the Act by adding "verify whether the boundary pillars are properly structured and are easily visible". The commission said "reports thereof should be kept on record".
The panel report also wanted that "… if the lessee/licencee is found to have encroached upon the non-lease area, in any manner, including shifting of boundaries or boundary marks, and /or if the boundary pillars are not maintained, the lease/licence shall be liable to be terminated after giving 30 days’ show-cause notice".
The report has said the circular issued on April 6, 2010 requires to be amended by adding Clause 9 and 10 for better implementation. It recommended that the distance between two pillars should not be more than 20 metres. and that the pillars should be of concrete. It should be mandatory for the concerned officer/s to visit the mine/s at least once a month, verify whether the boundary pillars are properly affixed and are easily visible, and the report/s thereof should be kept on record; and if the report is incorrect, the explanation of the concerned officer who visited last should be sought for and if not found satisfactory, departmental action should be taken.
"Aforesaid amendments would cast duty on the concerned officers to visit the site which itself would control mining beyond lease area. Further, lessees would also know that if he carries out mining activity beyond lease areas, his lease would be cancelled," the report has stated.