Illegal sand mining continues in Ajmer despite SC ban
Despite the Supreme Court ban, illegal sand mining continues in Ajmer with the mining and police departments turning a blind eye to the problem.
One can see more than 100 sand-laden trolleys being ferried everyday from the Khari river bed between Tankawas and Dundhari villages under Sawar block of the district, which is allegedly sold in the grey market at an exorbitant price.
“Police and mining department do not stop this illegal mining. Don’t they see tractor trolleys ferrying sand? The reason they don’t stop them is that they too take share in profits in the illegal business,” said a source in the mining department.
“One can imagine about the profit margins of the mafia as the sand which was ₹700 to ₹750 a tonne before the ban has jumped to ₹2,500 a tonne with everyone getting a share,” the source added.
Ajmer (rural) district Congress president Bhupendra Singh Rathore also accused the police and mining department officials of being hand in glove with the sand mafia for monetary gains.
However, Sawar deputy superintendent of police Rakesh Pal Singh expressed ignorance about the illegal sand mining going on in his area. “I am not aware about the illegal sand mining in and around Sawar. You are the first person who has brought this to my notice,” Singh told HT over phone. “Let me know the area. I will immediately send SHO Sawar to stop the mining,” he added.
Repeated attempts to reach out to Sawar’s assistant mining engineer Suresh Chandra Sharma over the issue failed to evoke a response from him.
The Supreme Court on November 18 had ordered to halt sand mining activities in 42 blocks of the state until a scientific replenishment study was completed and the matter was “fully and dispassionately” considered by the Union Environment Ministry for granting or rejecting the environmental clearance.
The chief secretary of Rajasthan has also been asked by the apex court to file an affidavit over the allegations that the state government was complicit with the sand miners.