No illegal mining in Nuh: Police after aerial survey in 29 villages
However, while the police are busy patting themselves on the back, the forest and mining officials have found signs of illegal mining in the district even after the DSP’s murder.
In a bid to prevent illegal mining in Nuh, the district police on Sunday and Monday carried out videography surveys in 29 villages using drones, senior officers said, adding that this was the first such exercise in the district and it failed to detect any mining activity in identified spots.
Following the murder of deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Surender Singh, during a raid on miners on July 19, district police had marked the quarries in Nuh with red and white paint. The drones ascertained that the paint marks were intact and not tampered with, suggesting that no mining activity has taken place in these hot spots since the markings, the police said.
Varun Singla, superintendent of police, Nuh, said they made the markings on hillocks in 29 villages to check if any illegal mining was taking place. “We had conducted a drone survey and videography of quarries in 29 villages, and we did not find any evidence of illegal mining. In the last one month our teams have been conducting extensive patrolling and investigation to check the illegal activity,” he said.
Police said they have used red markings on white stones and white markings on dark stones.
Singla said they have been meeting with the people of 29 villages to spread awareness against illegal mining as this act can result in legal trouble for the villagers. “On Tuesday, we again met with the villagers and appealed to them to inform us about theft or illegal mining. We have assured the villagers that their names will be kept confidential if they help us identify illegal miners,” he said.
Police said now the quarries of 29 villages are under scanner and random drone surveillance will be carried out in the district from time to time.
While the police are busy patting themselves on the back, the forest and mining officials have found signs of illegal mining in the district even after the DSP’s murder.
Ajay Kumar, deputy commissioner of Nuh, said they are taking action against people involved in illegal mining. “The incidents have reduced and cases have come down as compared to May this year. Our teams, since May, have been checking crusher units and quarries to control illegal mining. The only difference now is increased pressure and more checks,” he said.
Kumar said this was the first comprehensive survey by police. “We will use drones periodically to monitor increase or decrease in illegal activities,” he said.
On August 19, the district administration had formed a six-member team to carry out night patrolling in 15 villages of Tauru where illegal miners were active. Officials said miscreants have found a way around the trenches dug in the mountains to keep them at bay.
Forest officials said miners use earth movers to fill the trenches, transport illegally mined stones and then dig up the trench all over again to make it appear as if the trench was untouched, said officials.
A senior district administration official said the locals mine stones for domestic use -- for construction of their houses -- and some of them are also involved in the illegal trade of stones.
Rajesh Sangwan, assistant mining engineer who was given additional charge of Nuh on August 8 when the new team was constituted, said two forest guards have been deployed round-the-clock and they have started video recording suspicious activities at night. “The team have found tampering with the trenches at a few locations,” he said.
Sangwan said they are also keeping a check on 95 operational crusher units, and 41 others that have been shut but are still operating illegally.