Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has directed deputy commissioners in all districts to take measures to check illegal mining and stabilise the prices of sand and gravel in the state. He has called upon officers to initiate steps against unlawful mining.
Presiding over a meeting of the chief secretary, financial commissioners, deputy commissioners and inspectors general of police (IGPs), Sukhbir called for ensuring hassle-free sand mining. Referring to recent news reports regarding illegal mining, he asked DCs and police officers to visit authorised khuds to check pilferage during sand mining and determine the actual prices, including transportation cost, fixed by the government and the prices charged.
Sukhbir said strict action would be taken against anybody found involved in illegal mining.
The deputy CM said modalities were being worked out to declare the entire river area as new mining areas in Punjab. Besides this, he asked the DCs, especially of Ludhiana, Nawanshahr, Rupnagar, Ferozepur, Kapurthala, Moga, Jalandhar and Amritsar, to identify 10 new mining sites.
The DCs would also give a detailed report about the loading of trucks, prices, and transportation in their respective jurisdiction. Sukhbir also announced that mandis would be created at all district headquarters and an authorised officer from the mandi board would be deputed to ensure that legal mines were functional in Punjab.
The deputy CM said site appraisal committees under the chairmanship of sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) would be constituted and district-level environment management cells would be strengthened to ensure smooth functioning of mines.