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Shah panel in Odisha again to probe illegal mining

Posted on Feb 26, 08:18PM | IANS

Bhubaneswar, Feb 26 : The Justice M.B. Shah Commission, which is investigating illegal mining in different states, is in Odisha again as part of its ongoing probe, an official said Tuesday.

The commission is expected to begin hearings in Bhubaneswar after the arrival of Justice (retd.) Shah in the city Wednesday, a senior official of the state mines department told IANS.

Bureaucrat U.V. Singh, who is one of the investigators of the commission, said they will hear the state government and mining lease holders during the commission's stay of three to four days in the state.

He said the commission has already received the required information from the state government and mainly expects to hear from the lease holders. He, however, did not specify when the commission will be able to complete its probe and submit a report to the central government.

The Shah Commission, appointed by the union government in November 2010, has been investigating allegations of illegal mining in several mineral-rich states.

It will be the second visit of Justice Shah to the state after December 2011. However, commission representatives also visited the state in October and November last year, and examined files related to over 100 mines.

At that time, commission officials said they had found evidence of illegalities which would not have been possible without the connivance of bureaucrats.