Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) vice-president Rana KP Singh has demanded that free mining of sand should be allowed in the state.
Talking to mediapersons here on Friday, Rana said if the government could provide free power and water worth crores of rupees to the people, then there should be no problem in allowing free mining of sand.
He said in view of the auction of sand mines at exorbitant prices, contractors would charge hefty royalty from people wanting to procure sand. As a result, the cost of sand would shoot up and go out of the reach of the common man, hitting construction work in the private and public sectors.
Rana said the state government should reconsider its decision regarding the auction.
He said free mining should be allowed in public interest with the rider that the sand mined would be used in Punjab itself and not taken to other states. The government can also impose conditions to preserve ecology of areas where the mines are located, Rana added.