Iron ore still mined in Goa on Sundays, holidays: Probe

Panaji, Sep 3 (IANS) Mining and transportation of iron ore in Goa, banned by the Supreme Court, continues on Sundays and other government holidays, a preliminary government probe has revealed.

Two days after a few truckloads of iron ore were seized by the state mining and geology department in Sattari, around 50 km north of Panaji, a preliminary probe conducted by the department revealed that mining, on a minor scale, was still being carried out in desolate, but ore-rich areas in Goa's hinterland.

"This is just a preliminary probe. Sundays and government holidays see ore transportation and other mining activity because vigilance is less on those days due to lack of our workforce," a senior mines department official said Tuesday.

While the mines department is still in the process of ascertaining the value of the ore, mines director Prasanna Acharya said that police had been posted at the mining site to ensure that the activity was brought to halt.

Mining has been banned by the Supreme Court of India since Goa since October last year. A judicial commission appointed by the union ministry for mines has already unearthed a Rs.35,000 crore illegal mining scam in Goa in which politicians, bureaucrats and the state's mining magnates are linked.

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