50 cases of illegal sand mining in Mohali in 3 years, but trials still on
The Mohali district mining department on Monday lodged a police complaint in Kharar against the sarpanch of Majat village Harminder Singh for illegal sand mining, but how far the case progresses is anyone’s guess as 50 FIRs have been lodged to cope with the problem – but trials are still continuing.
Illegal mining is rampant here despite 17 cases being registered in 2018; 21 in 2019 and 12 in 2020, when 20 other cases are being investigated, police records state.
Around 50% cases in the past three years were registered in Mubarakpur, Dera Bassi.
According to district mining officer Gurpreet Pal Singh Sandhu, “We have lodged a complaint against the sarpanch of Majat village for illegal mining in the village as during our investigation we found that he had started digging in a 2.5 feet by 5.5 feet area in the village.”
Sandhu also claimed that swift action was taken when complaints were received, the police informed and FIRs registered. “On August 6, an FIR was registered against Sukhveer Singh of Shekupura village in Kurali for illegal mining... even machinery was seized,” he said.
He added that fines of Rs 60 per tonne for sand and gravel and Rs10 per tonne for ordinary earth would be imposed on the offenders.
On July 16, the mining department conducted a raid at Gocher village and found that 5,000 cubic feet gravel had been extracted from privately owned land in the area.
A stone crusher was also seized during the raid, but the revenue department claimed it had not identified the landowners even after a month.
On July 6, Majri Police had booked former director general of police (DGP) Paramdeep Singh Gill and 44 farmers of Saini Majra under Section 21 of the Mine and Minerals (Regulations and Development) Act for allowing illegal mining on their land. A fine of Rs 11 crore was imposed on them by the mining department.
Mohali deputy commissioner Girish Dayalan said he had directed officials to take strict action against offenders. Action will also be taken against people who owned land where illegal mining was carried out, he said.
In July last year, the mining department had imposed a penalty of Rs 52 crore on 193 landowners in three villages of Mohali — Mianpur Changar, Kubaheri and Abhipur— for allowing illegal mining on their land.