The Punjab government has operationalised 40 more sand mines with a view to reduce sand prices in the state. The mining department has also fixed sand rates for all quarries, including lifting charges.
A government spokesman said the Union environment ministry had given the nod to these 40 major mines. The department has warned contactors that if they charge more than the flat rates, their contracts would be cancelled immediately.
He said the rates of sand had been fixed in the range of Rs 460 to Rs 700 per 100 cubic feet, including lifting charges.
The 40 mines which have become functional are located at Brahmpur, Rampur and Khanpur Pandhar (SAS Nagar); Andoi, Baroi, Skemepur, Ganju Jagir, Adalatgarh, Dehriwal, Mirthal and Taharpur (Pathankot); Toor, Hamwal and Bianpur (Gurdaspur); Malakpur, Lallewal, Behloor Khurad, Khojja, Saidpur, Jhuggiyan, Rail Bahamad and Kannaun (Nawanshahr); Dupana, Sikandarpur, Majara Kalan and Hajapur (Ludhiana); Chaharpur, Rurewal and Kotli (Amritsar); Kamalwala, Gatta Badshah, Chak Khanna and Bandala (Ferozepur); Chak Bhora, Gatti Jattan and Chak Tahewala (Moga); Raimwala, Rame, Sailkiana and Panj Dhera (Jalandhar).
As many as 32 quarries are already operational in the state, including 11 being operated by the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC), located at Adraman, Bassia and Sanghera (Moga); Pawat, Gujjarwal Bet, Mand Chaunta, Miana, Koom Kalan (Ludhiana); Burj Tehal Dass (Nawanshahr); Digana Khurd (Hoshiarpur); and Jhungian Mahan Singh (Jalandhar).
The spokesman said the state government was committed to providing sand and gravel at reasonable rates to the people and that's why the state had put an embargo on ferrying of sand and gravel out of the state. In an effort to curb illegal mining, four police officers have been deployed in each district, while a superintendent of police (SP) and three deputy superintendents of police (DSPs) have been deputed to keep a check on illegal querying and lifting. Directions have also been issued to contractors.
File a complaint
People can file a complaint with the director, mining, industry and commerce, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 0172-2701226 in case any contractor charges higher for sand than the rates fixed by the mining department. People can also contact the deputy commissioner concerned, general manager-cum-mining officer or the superintendent of police (SP, mining) at 87288-00053 for further information.