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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Badal govt a 'puppet' in hands of sand mafia: Cong

PTI  Chandigarh, September 01, 2014
First Published: 18:25 IST(1/9/2014) | Last Updated: 19:25 IST(1/9/2014)

Congress in Punjab on Monday accused the government of acting as a puppet in the hands of sand mafia and said that as a result the construction work in the public and private sectors has been severely affected.

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"There is almost complete drought of non seasonal labour jobs in the market as with such high input costs common man has completely stopped building new homes and even cannot afford minor repairs," Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Sunil Jhakhar was quoted as saying in a statement.

"The SAD-BJP government is acting as a puppet in the hands of sand mafia and due to this the construction work in the public and private sectors has been severely affected," Jhakar alleged.

He said that on June 13 this year, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had met union environment minister Parkash Javedkar and informed him of having given clearance to 39 sand mines in the state.

"But, no administrative action has been initiated to auction these mines," Jhakhar said.

The Congress leader alleged that as a result sand remained costly and the government appeared to be against ending "artificial scarcity and high price cycle due to its vested interests".

Jakhar dared Badal to convene a one-day legislative session exclusively on the issue and "let it be broadcast, so that the people of Punjab get to know the real truth."  "It is time to debate on this sensitive anti-people issue, thread bare, so that both complacency and role of government supported vested players get exposed," he said.

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