A day after Punjab and Haryana high court's suo-motu notice of the HT report on the plundering of the Beas riverbeds, the Punjab government has woken up to curb illegal mining on the mafia-controlled sites near Pathankot.
On Thursday, teams from the mining wing of the Punjab industries department will raid the illegal stone crushers on the riverside, and continue the inspection for four days in Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, and Amritsar.
Forests, irrigation and other departments would be in the loop during the raids, Pathankot deputy commissioner C Sibin confirmed on Wednesday, accepting that first-information reports (FIRs) related to illegal mining and crushing were lodged all the time but no illegal stone crusher had been sealed in the area, so far. "The onus for this is on the local general manager, mining, in the industries department," he said.
The district police are silent on the issue, which also includes the night movement of tipper trucks loaded with sand and gravel. Night shipping is banned across the state.
HT correspondent Jasdeep Singh Malhotra had exposed the extortion racket in mining in his last story before his death in accident while on way to the illegal sites the next day (September 22). HT followed up with sensitising the judiciary about the plundering of the riverbanks in Pathankot.