Taking the congnisance of the growing incidents of illegal sand mining across Punjab, the Punjab government has formed a special investigation team (SIT) to look into the matter to clamp down the unlawful practice in the state.
The SIT, led by inspector general (IG) Nirmal Singh Dhillon, has been taking stock of the illegal sand mining sites across the state.
Dhillon also visited Ludhiana rural areas, including Jagraon, Raikot and surrounding areas on Friday to probe into the mining affairs.
The IG has also called upon all concerned gazzetted officers and mining contractors, accused of illegal mining, to a meeting on August 24 at Bathinda. The officers also asked police officers to bring the files of illegal mining along with them at the meeting.
It is learnt that the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal of Gautam Budh Nagar blasted the lid off the illegal sand mining across India; consequently, the ministry of environment and forests was taking the matter seriously.
Talking to Hindustan Times Dhillon said the committee was formed in compliance of the orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court, adding that he was investigating into the cases all over Punjab and visiting the areas where sand mining cases were on rampant.
The IG said he would submit his findings after completing the investigation.
Meanwhile, the issue of illegal sand mining has been painted by political colour with both the Congress and the SAD-BJP playing a blame game over it.
Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa along with other Members of Parliament from Punjab met minister for environment and forests Jayanti Natrajan in New Delhi, demanding a CBI inquiry into complaints of illegal sand mining across the state, which was posing a serious danger to environment.
On the other hand, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal blamed the Centre for black marketing of sand in the state.
While talking to the media here during swearing in ceremony of panchayats, Badal had said it was the interference by the ministry of environmental and forest that had enhanced the problem of illegal sand mining in the state.