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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Illegal mining: Jakhar slams govt for not auctioning 39 quarries

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, September 02, 2014
First Published: 10:06 IST(2/9/2014) | Last Updated: 10:08 IST(2/9/2014)

Leader of the Opposition Sunil Jakhar on Monday accused the Punjab government of being “a mere puppet in the hands of the sand mafia” by not auctioning the 39 quarries in the state that were given the nod by the Centre in June.

In a statement here, Jakhar said that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had met union environment minister Prakash Javadekar on June 13, when the latter informed the CM that the 39 quarries were given the goahead for functioning.

“As a consequence, sand remains costly and it appears that there are some vested interests in the government who do not want to end this artificial scarcity and high price cycle for sand and gravel,” Jakhar said.

Jakhar dared the chief minister to call a one-day legislative session exclusively on the issue of high prices of sand and let it be publicly telecast, so that the people should know the truth behind the costly sand and artificial scarcity. “It is time to debate on this sensitive issue threadbare so that the role of governmentsupported vested players gets exposed,” he added.

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