Illegal miners’ trucks in Mohali taking interior routes to evade highway checkpoints, allege villagers
Apart from causing environmental damage, the mining mafia is also damaging the roads in Kharar villages by plying trucks loaded with sand through interior roads to avoid the checkpoints on the Kharar-Ropar highway. Villagers allege that they have complained to authorities several times about the matter but there is no let-up in the nuisance.
The trucks, in a bid to evade Behrampur toll plaza, take the Bhaddal village route in Rupnagar and enter in Mohali district from Bindrakh (Rupnagar) and then Khizrabad in Mohali. This is the shortest possible route to avoid checkpoints on the highway. Some of these trucks go towards Kurali while the others proceed to Kharar and Mohali town. Some opt for the route from Bhoopnagar in Rupnagar and enter Mohali through Salampur.
Guljinder Singh, a resident of Akalgarh village in Kharar sub-division, says, “Everyday, we see over a dozen speeding trucks crossing through our village. When we stop them, they claim that they have permit for mining and show us documents. But why do they have to take the interior routes, if they have all the necessary permits?”
Khizrabad village head Sher Mohammad says, “Village roads are not meant for heavily loaded trucks. If these trucks are carrying sand from legal sources, they should take the highway route instead of damaging interior roads.” He further said, “There are some stone crushers in Bindrakh village of Rupnagar that have necessary permits to carry out mining but they spots where they carry out the mining may not necessarily be legal. Permissions are abused, and sand and gravel is dug out from surrounding areas.”
Lakhvinder Singh, a resident of a village in Kharar says these trucks also cause pollution. “Whenever, these trucks pass through the area, they leave behind a dust-storm-like situation. It is especially worrying since there are schools located in the area, and besides causing health hazards, also pose traffic concerns.”
The general manager of the District Industry Centre, Mohali, Tehal Singh said, “Whenever there is a complaint, we check documents and those possessing requisite documents are allowed to go. When they have the bills of crushers, we cant stop them.”