Cracking down on violators of the Mining and Minerals Act, Solan sub-divisional magistrate Tashi Sundup carried out a raid and seized an illegal mine at Lavighat village on the Solan-Subathu road on Monday. The raiding team also seized a crushing machine installed at the site in question without obtaining permission from the mining department.
Notably, the issue concerning the carrying out of unlawful mining at the village was highlighted by the Hindustan Times last week. Later, the officials of mining, forest and industries departments had also conducted the raid at the site and detected serious environmental and other violations.
The mining operations were being carried out by an industrialist on four bighas, purchased after obtaining permission under Section 118 of the Land Reforms and Tenancy Act in 2004. The land in question was purchased for establishing an industrial unit that was never set up in violation of law.
Officials of the industry and forest departments after detecting the violations had submitted their reports to the deputy commissioner for cancellation of the land's permission under Section 118 and had also recommended launching of needed proceedings for violating provisions of the Land Reforms and Tenancy Act.
Though the forest and industry departments had recommended lawful action against the land owner, but the hushing up of the case by officials of the mining department by merely issuing a challan had invited public criticism.
“Since the serious violations of law have been detected at the site, we have seized the mine, sand crushing machine and other materials at the site,” said the SDM.
He said in this particular case besides detection of unlawful mining, various others violations were also established and strict action would be initiated against the land owner.