Two teams have started physical survey of mines in Koida mining sector of Sundargarh district from Sunday after a host of mine owners alleged that the findings of the Google satellite imaging and the Gobal Positioning System (GPS) were erratic.On the instructions of MB Shah Commission, the teams have been formed by the State Government to investigate into illegal mining and encroachment of forest land. According to administrative sources, the teams comprise representatives from the Odisha Space Research and Application Centre, field-level personnel from the Revenue, Mining and Forest departments besides representatives of mine owners.
The fresh mapping begun from MG Mohanty mines and SN Mohanty mines at Ganua.
Among other things, both teams are focusing on whether the mine owners adhered to the surface rights and guidelines of the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM).
Moreover, with the help of Revenue Department, the teams are seeking to find out reference points with the images of GPS.The private mine owners of Sundargarh and adjacent Keonjhar districts led by the East Zone Mining Association had lodged their protest describing the GPS mapping erratic during the visit of the Shah Commission last month.Considering their complaint, the Commission decided that mine owners seeking fresh survey would have to deposit ` two lakhs per square kilometre.
Around 24 mines in Sundargarh and Keonjhar districts had applied for fresh mappings. While two teams are formed for nearly half a dozen mines in Sundargarh, four teams are doing the same work in Keonjhar.
A senior revenue officer said the teams are likely to submit their reports in the first week of April. The final hearing of Shah Commission is scheduled for April 16.
Earlier, several mines of the two districts had been charged by the Commission members for illegal extraction of iron ore and other minerals from the areas that do not come under their jurisdiction as per legal mining rights.