Even as the search operation to trace the bodies of engineering students who were washed away in the turbulent Beas River at Thalout in Mandi after sudden surge of water, the industry minister Mukesh Agnihotri on Sunday directed the Public Works Department (PWD), forest officials and Larji project management to close all the link roads constructed by sand mafia connecting the river with highway.
Agnihotri visited the incident site to take stock of the ongoing search and rescue operations and also met Telangana home minister N Narsimha Reddy and grief-stricken families who lost their children in the tragedy.
At least 25 persons, including 24 students of Hyderabad-based VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology were swept away by a flash flood in the Beas River caused by the sudden release of water from Larji reservoir, last Sunday.
Agnihotri said that the state government was making every possible effort to trace bodies of missing students. He ordered the concerned departments to close all the link roads constructed by sand mafia to carry out illegal sand mining, within seven days.
Agnihotir ordered Larji project management to ban dumping of muck within the limits of project areas.
The industry minister asked the mining department to take effective steps for banning illegal mining and also put up boards in this regard at various sites.
“Strict action would be taken if anybody found guilty of violating the orders and a penalty upto Rs 25000 will imposed on the violators,” said Agnihotri.
He said that the home minister of Telangana has expressed satisfaction over the rescue and search operation being carried out by the state government and the district administration.