Sand mafia is reportedly active in mining sand from the bed of the Upper Bari Doab canal at Dhariwal in gross violation of rules.
Irrigation department sub-divisional officer (SDO) Kashmir Singh told HT on Friday it had come to his notice that some people were mining sand from the bed of the dried Upper Bari Doab canal and he had reported the matter to the Dhariwal police.
The SDO said he had also deputed officials from his department to keep a check if someone tried to mine sand from the bed of the canal.
Meanwhile, the Dhariwal police impounded a tractor that was carrying sand from the bed of the canal on Friday, but have not yet registered any case against the erring person.
The SDO said sand was not getting deposited in the bed of the canal since the commissioning of the Ranjit Sagar dam. He added it was suspected that the previously deposited sand in the dry bed was being mined by unscrupulous elements.
When sand used to get deposited with the flow of water a few years ago, the irrigation department used to auction mining of sand from the canal, but this practice has been stopped now.
Sand has become very dear these days. Those dreaming of owning their own home have been going through lots of hardships due to the skyrocketing price of the commodity.
If reports are to be believed, the sand mafia indulging in unauthorised mining here has been earning huge illegal income.