Goa mining panel should not delay report: Congress

Panaji, July 16 (IANS) A Goa government committee appointed to nail those guilty for illegal mining should submit its report as early as possible, Congress Lok Sabha MP Francisco Sardinha said Tuesday.

"With thousands rendered unemployed by the mining ban, the committee should ensure they should identify who is guilty of illegal mining and who is not," Sardinha told the media.

"The Khandeparkar committee should decide at the earliest," he said.

The R.M.S. Khandeparkar committee had been appointed by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar soon after coming to power with the brief to "verify" findings of the central government-appointed Justice Shah Commission, which unearthed a Rs.35,000 crore mining scam involving mining companies, politicians and bureaucrats.

The Khandeparkar committee was also tasked with identifying specifically those involved in illegal mining and the quantum of their illegality.

The findings of the Shah Commission also formed part-basis for a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court, which in turn resulted in a ban imposed by the apex court on all mining activity in the state.

The opposition has already questioned the logic of the state government to appoint a committee headed by Khandeparkar, a retired high court judge to examine the findings of M.B. Shah, a former Supreme Court Judge.

Sardinha now claims that the Khandeparkar Committee should submit its report in a time-bound manner and not sit on it endlessly.

"A committee like this cannot go on forever. It amounts to playing with the daily bread of the people," Sardinha said.


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