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Mining operations in all the 90 mines in Goa were today ordered to be halted by the Supreme Court on the basis of the Justice M B Shah Commission report which estimated a whopping Rs.35,000 crore to the exchequer due to illegal mining in the last 12 years.
Mining companies have also been restrained from exporting and selling ores, which has already been extracted.
A three judge bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam took note of the Commission's report and issued notice to the Centre and State government. The bench also asked the apex court-appointed Central Empowered Committee to submit its report on the illegal mining in the state within four weeks.
The bench passed the order on a PIL filed by an NGO, Goa Foundation, seeking probe in the illegal mining activities in the state. The state government had on September 10 temporarily suspended all mining operations till October 2012, but the petitioner alleged that suspension did not affect the trade as the private companies are transporting the ores from mines. The court is already seized of the illegal mining cases in Karnataka where, after halting all mining activities for more than year, it had on September 3 allowed operations in only 18 mines out of more than 100 mines where the irregularities were minimum.