Goa to have wireless trackers on ore-laden trucks

September 19th, 2011 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Sep 19 (IANS) The Goa government is mulling installing radio frequency identification (RFI) devices on ore-ferrying trucks in a bid to curb illegal mining in the state, chief minister Digambar Kamat said Monday.

The move comes amid the inaugural paces of the nine-member commission, led by retired Supreme Court judge M.B. Shah, probing charges of illegal mining in the state.

The opposition says several top politicians and cabinet ministers are involved in the multi-crore-rupee scam.

“We have been very active in curbing illegal trade and the RFI is a step in that direction,” Kamat said. “I had myself written to then union minister for environment and forests (MoEF) Jairam Ramesh for a moratorium on new mining leases.”

Describing RFI as a unique system in which radio waves are used to transfer data, he said: “The consignment can be tagged during movement.”

He added that this would make for closer monitoring.

Shah and other members of his commission have been camping in Goa for the last three days, visiting controversial mining leases, interviewing bureaucrats and inspecting documents related to extraction and export of iron ore from the more than 100 operational mines in Goa.

Leader of opposition Manohar Parrikar has accused Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and several cabinet ministers of being party to illegal mining.

Goa exported nearly 54 million tonnes of iron ore in the last financial year, out of which Parrikar has claimed that nearly 20 per cent is from illegal mining.

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