Contrary to the claims of the ruling Congress government concerning strict implementation of mining laws across the state, a fresh case of unlawful mining of cut stones near Garkhal village in Kasauli area has come to light.
Meanwhile, the mining mafia running the mines had allegedly assaulted a member of a local Non-Gazetted Organisation (NGO) after he complained against an illegal cut stone mine in the area on Wednesday evening.
Vikram Verma had complained to chief minister Virbhadra Singh urging him to direct the officials concerned of the mining department and the district administration to initiate needed lawful steps to check the unlawful mining of cut stones near Garkhal on the Jagjitnagar road in violation of the law.
Verma, who is also running an NGO in the name of Society for Grameen Vikas Sanstha, had also shot off letters to different departments, empowered by the government, to check illegal mining in their respective areas, but none of the officials had made any surprise visit to initiate action against the offenders.
He said after his complaint to the chief minister, an official of the mining department had visited the site two days ago, but neither took any action against the offenders nor provided any information to him.
Verma said since the stones were being extracted on a private land, the owner of the land in question had never sought any permission form the department, till date. The unlawful mine was being operated adjacent to a village common land of Chhachar and Kuhari villages, causing unwarranted inconvenience to the villagers visiting the area for grazing their cattle.
Verma said the mining mafia not only thrashed him on Wednesday evening, but also issued threats of dire consequences to his family members if he did not withdraw the complaint.
He said though he had given a complaint to the Kasauli police shortly after the assault, but no action had been initiated in the case.
District mining officer Sarit Chander said, “After receipt of the complaint, a mining inspector was sent to check illegal mining on the site in question and strict action will be initiated after the official concerned submits a report.”
Superintendent of police Ramesh Chhajta said the police was investigating the case adding that the Kasauli station house officer has been asked to take needed lawful action against the offenders.