Illegal soil mining is rampant in the state capital.
Several 20-feet-deep pits dug up on the city’s outskirts and a major nexus of contractors came to the fore after a police raid in Tikra village under the PGI area in the wee hours on Sunday.
A team led by Babita Singh, circle officer (CO), Cantt police circle, swooped down on the village where illegal mining was going on for several months.
Those involved in the mining fled leaving an earthmoving machine and two trucks on the spot.
After seizing the vehicles, the CO sent a report to district magistrate Anurag Yadav for further action in this connection.
Singh said the raid was conducted on a tip-off from an anonymous caller when she was on patrol on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday. She said one soil-laden truck was intercepted at a petrol pump near Kalli Paschim village around 3 am.
“We nabbed truck driver Charan Singh and after his revelations, the raid was carried out at Tikra village,” she added.
Though the truck driver did not reveal the names of the people for whom the soil was being dug, the villagers complained of rampant illegal mining by a lobby of contractors in the area.
“Locals are afraid to approach the department concerned as the mining unit owners have threatened them with dire consequences. At least 50 truckloads of soil is being transported from the village on a daily basis,” said a villager.
He said the earthmovers were used to remove soil and the fields in the area were dug 20 feet deep.
The villager further said, “These pits are dangerous because they are filled with water during rains. A few days ago, a farmer fell into a one and was seriously injured. He was rescued somehow when some villagers spotted him.”
The villager said illegal mining was rampant in the area for the past three-four years.
Seeking stern action against those involved in it, the villager apprehended that some district officials might be involved in the illegal mining.