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Goa Mines dept director transferred, replaced by IT secy

The Goa government Friday transferred Prasanna Acharya, Director of the Mines and Geology Department, to the Personnel Department, days after it constituted a special court for hearing illegal mining cases in the state.

IAS officer Ameya Abhyankar, who is currently the Secretary of Information and Technology Department, has been asked to hold the additional charge as Director of Mines and Geology.

The order issued by Under Secretary (Personnel) Harish Adconkar said Abhyankar has been given the additional charge in "public interest".

Earlier this week, the government had constituted a special court to hear cases related to illegal mining in the coastal state, with Additional District Judge Edgar Fernandes designated to chair it.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Crime Branch has registered over 10 FIRs in connection with the illegal mining cases as per the findings of the Justice M B Shah Commission.

The commission had earlier probed the mining sector in Goa and its report in 2012 had pegged the alleged irregularities at around Rs 35,000 crore in the state.

The state government had named several politicians, including former chief minister Digambar Kamat and officials of the Mines department as accused in illegal mining cases.