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Numbers match says the state

Panjim: In what could strengthen State government’s case before the Bombay High Court at Goa, the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) has said the Run of Mine (ROM) production of iron ore compiled and reported by Directorate of Mines and Geology (DMG) is matching with the figures produced by the Regional Office of IBM, Goa.

In a petition filed by Goa Foundation, the division bench had in May directed that “the Controller General of Indian Bureau of Mines will hold an enquiry to verify the correctness of the mining data maintained by the State of Goa in light of the disparity noticed and publish the report of such inquiry in the public domain, within a period of six months from today.”

Countering the allegation of the petitioner that DMG has no real-time monitoring of ore production, the IBM inquiry committee led by Controller of Mines, South Zone-Bangalore J R Chaudhary, has said that Goa has engaged the services of M/s Megasoft System Ltd. to provide online platform to monitor the daily ROM iron ore production and dispatch from the mining leased area.

The Committee in its observation said that the production is always considered as the ore excavated from the insitu mine faces in ROM form. Therefore, for all practical purpose the ROM production only is considered as Production. Even the production capping allocated by the State Government as per the Supreme Court directives, Environmental Clearance approval, Mining Plan production approval is based on the ROM production only and the same is being monitored by IBM.

It pointed out that as per Rule 45 of MCDR, 1988/2017 the lease holders are required to submit statutory Monthly & Annual Returns in specified Performa to the concerned RCOM of IBM and concerned State Government in online system followed by hard copy of the same.

As per MCDR, 2017 which came into effect from February 27, 2017, it is mandatory to file online Monthly and Annual returns with digital signature followed by hard copy of the same if it is not submitted with digital signature. “However, in the online system of IBM, yet provision is not made for submission of returns with digital signature. Therefore, the mining leaseholders are bound to submit the online return followed by hard copy of the same with signature,” the report stated.

“The hard copy of the returns submitted to the RCOM, Regional office, IBM, Goa and to the DMG, Goa is same since hard copy is print out of the return submitted online. Therefore, the ROM production of the Iron ore compiled and reported by the RCOM, Regional office, IBM, Goa and the DMG, Goa are matching,” the committee observed.

The Committee further said that in order to capture the data on Grade-wise Production, Dispatches, Stocks and Ex-Mine prices of ROM Iron ore, the online system of filing of Monthly and Annual Return of IBM is being modified forthwith through the online return submission component of IBM‟s ongoing Mining Treatment System (MTS) project.

GF had pointed out that while as per DMG the total production from 2015 to March 15, 2018 was around 37 million tonnes, IBM claims that it was only 16 million tonnes. Similar for the last financial year till March 15, 2018 the production figures placed on record by DMG are 10.58 million tons while as per IBM till January 2018 It was 5.44 million tons. [H]

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