Following the instructions of Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to the administration last week to check illegal mining and stabilise the prices of sand and gravel in the state, Hoshiarpur deputy commissioner Varun Roojam has started a crackdown against the menace.
In an order passed by the deputy commissioner, all minerals extracted from the existing quarries of more than 5 hectares would be sold only at one designated place under police supervision and the new grain market at Phagwara road has been nominated for this purpose.
The SSP has been asked to ensure that no sale of minerals takes place at any other site.
He would depute adequate force at each quarry site to oversee the mining process. Meanwhile, the district mining officer would ensure that the laden vehicles were weighed accurately on the weigh bridges. All SDMs have been instructed to keep a vigil on mining operations and randomly check weigh bridges to check pilferage.
Amid reports of illegal mining and sky rocketing prices of sand and gravel, the deputy CM had called a special meeting of the deputy commissioners and police officers of each district and passed on strict directions to take corrective measures.
General manger (industries) -cum-mining officer Balwinder Singh said that the measures were aimed at bringing market price of sand down by encouraging competition.
"When all laden vehicles would be lined up at one place like in other mandis, buyers can bargain for the cheapest deal," he added.
Consumers, however, are not hopeful that the plan would work, as bids for the mining sites in the