The Supreme Court finalised four names of a six-member expert committee which will file its report by February 15 next year suggesting the annual cap on the volume of iron ore to be extracted in Goa.
The apex court, which on October 5, last year had stopped mining, transportation and export of iron ore in Goa following a report of irregularities by the Justice M B Shah Commission, also asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the Goa government to nominate one representative each to the panel and they should not be below rank of joint secretary.
The panel will look into the issue of fixing the annual cap on iron ore mining, keeping in view the principle of inter-generational equity and environment-carrying capacity.
The issue of environment-carrying capacity relates to the extent environment and surroundings of a mine can sustain or bear ore extraction activities.
The three-judge bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik nominated four experts, that included an ecologist, a geologist, a mineralogist and an expert on forest, in the panel after considering various names provided by the parties including NGO Goa Foundation and the state government.
Ecologist C R Babu, Geologist S C Dhiman, Mineralogist B K Mishra and S Parmeshwarappa have been nominated as members of the panel.
Earlier, the bench, also comprising justices S S Nijjar and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, had allowed e-auctioning of nearly 11.48 million tonnes of extracted iron ore lying unused in Goa for over a year after it halted mining operations in 90 mines there.
It had also formed another panel of three members for supervising the e-auctioning of the iron ore in the state. Former bureaucrats U B Singh and S Naiumuddin were nominated as members to the panel.
The bench had said that it would pronounce the verdict on the PIL after the filing of the report by the six-member expert committee on February 15 next year.