Acting on the HT report, 'Mining mafia mints Rs 100 crore, Punjab govt mere Rs 3 crore' (April 15), Pathankot deputy commissioner Sibin C has formed a committee headed by the subdivisional magistrate (SDM) to check illegal mining.
Sibin said the environmental engineer, the district mining officer and the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) concerned had been nominated as committee members. "They will raid illegal mining sites, get FIRs registered against the accused and submit a progress report within a week to me. The detailed action-taken report will be forwarded to the state government accordingly," he added.
Meanwhile, it has come to light that though the Punjab government had directed Sibin to take stringent action against the mining mafia nearly two weeks ago, no FIR has been registered till date against those openly involved in illegal mining.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) SK Kalia confirmed that no case had been registered against the mining mafia this month.
Speaking to Hindustan Times on the phone on Monday, AR Talwar, principal secretary, industries department, said the DC and the general manager, district industries centre-cum-district mining officer, were recently told to get such illegal mining sites inspected and ensure stopping of such activities, while similar action was mooted simultaneously in Rupnagar and Mohali districts.
"The district administration was directed to impound vehicles and machinery involved in illegal mining and get criminal cases registered against violators," he said.
The industries department has also proposed the adoption of the mining policy of Himachal Pradesh, he said, adding that views of the science, technology and environment, forests and wildlife, and irrigation departments were solicited on the matter.
"We are likely to present the new mining policy before the state cabinet during the April 23 meeting, if comments of all departments concerned are received in time," he added. He said 238 quarries with less than 5-acre area each were auctioned throughout the state till date.
"We are planning to auction 1,500 to 2,000 quarries (with area of 5 to 50 hectares) in June as we are in the process of obtaining environmental clearance for these sites," he added. The principal secretary said the Punjab government would ensure that the sale price of sand and gravel remained stable in the market.