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Mining illegalities: Apex court panel visits Odisha

Bhubaneswar, Dec 8 (IANS) A team of the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) Saturday arrived in Odisha to examine implementation of the recommendations it had made two years ago on the alleged mining irregularities in the state, official said.

The team led by member secretary of the panel M.K. Jiwrajka has arrived here on a three-day tour and is scheduled to hold discussions with the top state officials here Dec 10, a senior official of the state mining department told IANS.

Although it is not clear if the panel will visit some mines, they are likely to focus on compliance with forest and environmental laws at mining areas, he said.

The team has come in connection with a petition filed at the Supreme Court in 2009 by Rabi Das, a Bhubaneswar based journalist and social activist.

Das had accused the state government of violating forest and environmental law and allowing illegal mining in the state.

The Supreme Court had asked the CEC to look into the allegations.

The CEC team had conducted hearings at New Delhi and submitted an interim report to the court in 2010, petitioner Das told IANS.

In the report, the committee had pointed out several irregularities in the state and had asked the government to take certain measures, he said.

The team is likely to find out if the government has complied them or not. The panel is expected to submit a final report based on their findings, Das added.

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