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HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, September 25, 2013
The Punjab's special investigation team constituted to look into the illegal sand mining in the state on Wednesday file a detailed status report in a sealed cover in the Punjab and Haryana high court. The development took place during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation seeking directions to the Punjab government as well as the Centre to put on auction all mining areas cleared for environmental impact in a transparent, time-bound manner so as to curb illegal mining in the state.

The petition filed by local resident Gurbir Singh Pannu came up for hearing before the bench headed by justice Rajive Bhalla. However, the court adjourned the case for hearing on October 5 saying it would first have to go through the entire status report.

On August 7 the high court had directed the SIT headed by Inspector General of Police Nirmal Singh Dhillon to submit its final report within six weeks. The court was not satisfied with the report presented by the SIT on August 7 citing some 2,500 FIRs registered since April 1, 2012 related to illegal mining in the state.

The petitioner had informed the court that despite the ban imposed by the high court, illegal mining was continuing in the state without any check, causing a loss of around Rs. 10,000 crore per year to the state exchequer.