Punjab government is mulling forming a special task force to clamp down on illegal mining in the state, industries and commerce minister Madan Mohan Mittal on Saturday said.
"The industry department is planning to form a special task force to check illegal mining," Mittal said adding the industry department would be equipped with sufficient infrastructure to curb the menace.
The minister also asked senior officers of the department to regularly monitor mining operations in order to prevent the unauthorised practise.
Presiding over a meeting in Ludhiana, Mittal said he will get a detailed report of illegal mining from each district every month.
The minister said the auction process of mining would be made easy and mines will be allotted through draw system.
He said in Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Ropar and Mohali separate general managers would be appointed while considering number of mines in these areas.
Mittal also said the state government is committed to provide sand to common man on "very nominal" rates.
However, Mittal asserted that there was no political pressure of any kind on sand theft issue and offenders will be brought to the book.
The minister also directed the district officers to send a detailed report about FIRs registered in illegal mining cases and other irregularities on monthly basis.
The minister said that 49 mines out of the total 300 have been auctioned and very soon more bid will be invited after getting environment clearance.