Miscreants indulging in illegal sand mining have turned the villages on the banks of Sutlej river into dumping grounds, in absence of any check by the police.
The accused blatantly dump the sand in villages during night and take it away by loading it in trucks and tractor-trolleys in the morning.
According to residents of these villages, the illegal sand mining had adversely affected the river bank, and might lead to tragic repercussions in the upcoming monsoon season.
They claim that they have made several complaints to the police about the illegal mining, but to no avail, adding that the accused used to grease the palms of police officials concerned for not taking action against them.
Dev Kumar, whose aunt Debo was killed in a freak mishap after a sand-laden truck overturned on her house at Talwandi village, said trucks and tractor-trolleys used to take the kutcha roads, which were not meant for heavy vehicles. “The kutcha road is above the level of village, and therefore, also works as dam. But due to heavy and laden vehicles passing over it, its level has been gradually decreasing, which could have adverse effects in the monsoon,” he added.
He also alleged that some villagers were also involved in illegal sand mining, as digging machines and trucks could often be seen parked outside their houses. Besides, vacant plots of the villages had virtually turned into deserts with the heaps of sand that had been dug from the river bed being dumped on them, Kumar alleged.
Mukhtiar Singh, another villager, said they were unable to sleep at night due to digging and transportation of sand. Day time was no better with sand filling the air and getting into their eyes.
Meanwhile, in the Friday mishap, the Ladhowal police have lodged a case against Rachpal Singh of Haibowal, Surjit Singh, Dharam Singh, Hansraj of Talwandi Kalan and the unidentified driver of the truck under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 379 (theft) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). However, no arrests have been made.
Sub-inspector Mohinder Singh, station house officer (SHO) at Ladhowal police station, said as the complainant and accused had come to an agreement, no arrest had been made so far.
On being questioned regarding illegal sand mining, the SHO claimed the police were investigating into the matter.