A public interest litigation came up for hearing in the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday, 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, timebound 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 division bench comprising chief justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain. However, the court adjourned the case for hearing on November 22 along with cases of similar nature.
The petitioner 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.
Directions have also been sought to the central government to take a decision on pending environmental clearance within three months. The legal process for a transparent and open public auction had been postponed since 2006 just to mint profits through illegal mining, it was submitted.