Police to map all illegal mining sites in Nuh, Faridabad and Gurugram
Gurugram: Ten days after a 58-year-old Haryana deputy superintendent of police (DSP) was run over by a truck while investigating a lead on illegal mining in Nuh district, police from the three districts of Nuh, Gurugram and Faridabad have launched an operation to identify the hot spots of mining in the region, officers aware of the matter said on Wednesday.
The officers said that they are creating a grid based on the complaints and cases registered in the past, and added that adequate deployment of police will be ensured in the identified areas to keep a check on the people and vehicles involved in illegal mining activities.
The officers said that the respective district police have identified 25 spots in Nuh, 10 in Faridabad and 13 in Gurugram.
First in 2002, and then in 2009, the Supreme Court banned mining of major and minor minerals in the eco-sensitive Aravalli hills in Faridabad, Gurugram and Nuh to restore the hills to their traditional ecological value. The order in 2009 said all mining activities must be suspended till statutory provisions for restoration and reclamation were complied with, particularly in cases where pits or quarries had been abandoned.
According to officials, the stones and sand from Aravalli hills is illegally extracted and sold to local suppliers of construction material and building contractors.
Sharing details of the ongoing crackdown on illegal mining in Nuh, superintendent of police Varun Singla said checkpoints have been set up and additional force has been deployed around the areas under mining. “We are closely monitoring illegal mining sites and keeping a check on locals and vehicles involved in such activities. We have identified 25 villages where the locals used to illegally extract stones,” he said.
Since April this year, the Nuh police has lodged 23 FIRs in connection with illegal mining, seized 68 vehicles and recovered ₹43 lakh in fines, Singla added.
According to the state mines and geology department, there has been a more than four-fold rise in the cases of illegal mining registered across Haryana in the last three years.
Narender Kadian, deputy commissioner of police (NIT) Faridabad, said they have made an elaborate plan to stop illegal mining in the district. “We have identified the vulnerable areas, and have deployed an additional 30 personnel at the Pali check post notorious for illegal mining. Police posts have been set up and all vehicles using the stretches connecting to Badhkal, Pali, Dhoj and Surajkund are being checked. We are also keeping a close watch on the villages around the illegal mining sites,” said Kaidan, who took charge of the area on Wednesday.
Sube Singh, Faridabad police spokesperson, said 98 cases have been registered and 96 vehicles impounded under illegal mining cases in the district in the last five years.
According to Gurugram police, 14 cases of illegal mining have been registered in the last four months.
Preet Pal Sangwan, assistant commissioner of police (crime) Gurugram, said mining was not going on at any site in the district, but some areas have been identified based on past complaints for additional checks.
“There were complaints from Naurangpur and Bar Gujjar areas, but now everything is under control. We have formed special teams to deploy in suspected areas and raids are conducted regularly. There have been instances where these people have attacked police teams but we have arrested them and heavy penalties were imposed on them. The cases have decreased now,” he said.
Explaining the crackdown on illegal vehicles, Sangwan said the transport of sand and stone is a major part of the mining operation. “We have intensified checking of vehicles on the border points with Nuh, Rajasthan and Faridabad. Also, we have given directions to the police teams to be extra vigilant during night when operations are usually carried out,” he said.
The Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement (ABCM), a group of activists working for protecting Aravallis, said they reiterate their demand for the formation of a separate and autonomous, pan-state Aravalli Protection Authority which treats the threats emerging out in different districts in their totality. “The Aravalli range needs to be looked at as a whole and not fragmented by state boundaries as it is North India’s critical water recharge zone, the barrier against desertification, a pollution and carbon sink, a biodiversity hot spot and wildlife habitat that must be preserved for our future generations,” Jyoti Raghavan, a member of the group, said on Wednesday.
“In the wake of the murder of Nuh DSP Surender Singh Bishnoi by the mining mafia, the Aravalli Bachao movement urges the government to use advanced drones to check all illegal activities in the Aravalli region,” Raghavan added.
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