Panaji: Goa Assembly's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is understood to have expressed fears that if illegal mining in the state is not curbed, even the legal mines here will face closure, highly-placed sources said.

The PAC report, which will be tabled in the House during the Assembly session that begins from Wednesday, has reportedly indicted the state government for allegedly encouraging illegal mining.

It is learnt that the report says that illegal mining has resulted in strain on infrastructure, ecology, agriculture and threatens to destroy the water security of the state if it is not controlled immediately.

"During the series of meetings, the PAC observed that the overburden of illegal mining is damaging the prospects of legal mining," the source stated.

The PAC report, which has relied on the data provided by Directorate of Mines and Geology (DOMG) and Forest Department, has calculated that annually around 20 million tonnes of ore is exported from the state.

"The total value of the ore that is mined in violation of the law on Mining and Environment exceeds Rs 4,000 crore annually," the sources stated.

It is learnt that the report has directly indicted politicians and officers from the Mines as well as the Forest Department, including their secretaries and director of Mines Department.

According to sources, the report says that details like involvement of politicians, quantum of illegalities and financial transactions, etc. can only be known after a thorough investigation.

The report is understood to have recommended that an independent agency like CBI or Lokayukta be asked to probe into illegal mining nexus being carried out in connivance of local politicians, bureaucrats of the Mines and Forest departments and police force.

Meanwhile, the BJP would be moving breach of privilege against Congress legislator Agnelo Fernandes, holding him responsible for leaking the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on illegal mining in Goa.

BJP legislative wing spokesman Damodar Naik said that he would be moving breach of privilege against Fernandes, who is a PAC member representing Congress, during the state Assembly session.

PAC report, which has unearthed Rs 4,000 crore illegal iron ore mining scam, was reportedly leaked a day before it was being tabled on the floor of the House.

According to Naik, the report had forcibly been carried away by Fernandes on Tuesday.

Fernandes is one amongst the four members, who had expressed his unwillingness to sign the report claiming it to be "biased and drafted without taking them in confidence."

"The report is confidential and it is property of the House. Agnelo went away with it and now it's leaked," Naik said.

PAC suggests probe into role of ports

Goa Legislative Assembly-constituted Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on illegal mining is learnt to have recommended that the role of ports and Central
Excise and Customs be probed in wake of the illegal ore exports from the coastal state.

According to sources, the report, which was handed over to Speaker of Legislative Assembly Pratapsingh Rane on Wednesday during the session, said that the role of Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), port authorities at Panaji port and Customs also needs to be investigated in view of huge quantities of export that were been permitted without documents, to prove the source and legality of the ore.

The state government fighting back to control the export of ore illegally from the state had made mandatory to get 'No Objection Certificate'(NOC) from the State Mines and Geology
department before the consignment is dispatched abroad.

While Panaji Port had immediately implemented the government guidelines in November last year, the MPT had delayed in implementing it as late as January, 2011.

The PAC report has said that of the total 54 million metric tonnes of ore exported during financial year 2010-11, almost 5.5 million metric tonnes was sent illegally by evading
royalty.

Sources said the report has said that of the total ore exported almost 18-20 million metric tonnes has been illegally extracted without proper licences.

The PAC, chaired by Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar has also recommended that the administrative set up of Directorate of Mines and Geology needs to be strengthened
immediately by appointing, on deputation, senior officers in the department to increase its strength and improve its functioning, they said.

The Committee, it is learnt, has established that lack of proper records in all probability is done to allow illegal mining go unchecked. Sources stated that a detailed external audit is
required to find out the exact data about illegalities as the figure that were submitted to committee were modified time and again.

The report has already run into controversy before it was tabled after ruling party members on the committee refused to sign the document.

Parrikar said he has already submitted the report to the Speaker and it is for him to decide on it.

(JPN/Agencies)