The former Chief Minister of Goa, Digambar Kamat, has been indicted by a judicial commission for allowing illegal mining in the State, resulting in amassing of wealth by certain individuals and companies at the cost of environment.
The Justice M.B. Shah Commission, which went into illegal mining of iron ore and manganese in the State, cited instances of abuse of power by Mr. Kamat, who held the Mines portfolio over a 10-year period from 2002 in three governments, two headed by the Congress and one by the BJP.
The Commission found “total lack of coordination” in different wings of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, which “resulted in illegalities and consequential ecological damage.”
The report, along with the Action Taken Memorandum, was tabled in Parliament on Friday by Union Mines Minister Dinsha Patel.
“Abuse of power”
The Commission found several orders passed by Mr. Kamat, including on application for condonation of delay in renewal of mining lease, as “against the law” and “abuse of power” as the Central government is the ultimate authority in this regard.
The report came down heavily on Mr. Kamat for ignoring complaints about the destruction caused by illegal mining.
“It is amply clear that the Minister of Mines and Chief Minister [Mr. Kamat] were well aware about non-compliance of conditions and other illegalities/irregularities happening in the mining sector,” the report said.