The Punjab and Haryana high court has asked the Haryana government to look into the claims of two alleged ‘miners’ who had claimed before the court that they were bringing water from Rajasthan for washing construction material in the remote Mahendergarh district of the state.
The high court bench of chief justice SJ Vazifdar and justice Anupinder Singh Grewal acted on the petition of a villager, Mahabir Parshad, who had sought high court’s intervention after authorities allegedly did not act on the repeated complaints about ‘illegal’ mining and washing the construction material by extracting ground water by the two ‘miners’, Rameshwar and Desj Raj, of Dhanijajma village.
One of the complaints was also lodged at the chief minister window on September 12, 2016, in Narnaul alleging the collusion of local mining department.
Mahendergarh is notified as ‘dark zone area’ by the Central Ground Water Authority and the water here can be extracted for drinking purposes only.
Upon notice to the state government and the two alleged ‘miners’, the two men had claimed that they are not carrying any mining activity; only washing the construction material was being done for which water is brought from Rajasthan, and it was not being abstracted locally.
However, the petitioner had alleged that water was being abstracted locally and if at all, the ‘miners’ are getting it from Rajasthan, under what provisions the same is being done. The government is yet to respond to allegations in the petition.
“It is clarified that the pendency of this petition does not affect the rights of the official respondents to take action against the private respondents in accordance with law. The private respondents contend that no permission or license is required for carrying on the present activities, namely, of washing material. The official respondents must go into this issue, if necessary, after considering the views of all the parties to this petition and take action, in accordance with law,” the order passed by the bench of the chief justice said.
The petitioner had alleged that the areas of the Krishanawati bed of Datal-Dhanijajma, Dostpur and Bhedanti villages are panchayat land and fall under the Aravalli Range, restricted for any kind of mining.
They are flouting all rules and indiscriminately carrying out illegal sand mining and washing the same, which is posing a threat not only to the petitioner’s land but also to panchayat land, and the forest of the river bed, the court was told.
The complainant has sought a compensation of Rs 10 crore from the duo for the alleged loss caused to panchayat land, forests, environment, and for using drinking water for washing the sand-bajri.
The direction was also sought to ensure accountability of the authorities concerned.