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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

"Mining policy delayed on purpose"

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Ferozepur, April 03, 2013
First Published: 21:14 IST(3/4/2013) | Last Updated: 00:32 IST(4/4/2013)

The mining policy was delayed by a year, and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar has held the state's ruling alliance responsible.

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The delay was mala fide, as the ruling-alliance leaders had connived to benefit their henchmen, on Wednesday Jakhar said here. "If the policy revision was within the alliance's jurisdiction, why did it take a year and pass the blame to the union government," he added.

The pressure from the opposition Congress and resentment among the masses had forced the state government to redefine its policy on mining only a few days before, the CLP leader said. "For the past one year, loot and plunder were allowed wilfully, because of which, the state exchequer lost hundreds of crores of rupees," he added, demanding an independent investigation.

The ruling alliance, under the pretext of receiving directions from the union government, had banned stone crushing, the mining of gravel, and brick making, resulting in the closure of 2,700 brick kilns, which had rendered 6-lakh workers jobless, the state opposition leader said. "The policy affected 20-lakh masons and labourers that depended on construction work," he added.

The state had a huge resource of gravel and sand, yet mining was confined to 3,000 hectares. "Nearly 1,500 hectares more can be exploited to make the building material affordable," the CLP leader said.

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