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Posted at: Jul 17, 2017, 1:47 AM; last updated: Jul 17, 2017, 1:47 AM (IST)

Illegal mining rampant in Mohali villages

Illegal mining rampant in Mohali villages
Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Kaur Sapra inspects an illegal mining site at Khizrabad, Mohali.

Akash Ghai

Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 16

Illegal mining continues unabated without any fear of law in Mohali district, particularly in the forest area near Khizrabad and Kubbaheri villages here. 

If villagers are to be believed, over 100 sand and gravel-laden tippers move from the area every night. 

“A number of hillocks, covered by wild growth, have already been levelled by unauthorised miners. You can see huge deep pits all around, including on shamlat (common) land, in the villages. This is the result of illegal excavation, which is being patronised by several leaders, mainly of the Congress and the Akali Dal,” alleged Sher Mohammad, Sukhdev Singh and Gurwinder Singh while talking to Mohali Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Kaur Sapra at the site. The Deputy Commissioner, along with ADC CS Mann, today conducted a surprise check at four different locations to check illegal mining near both villages.

A number of pits, most of which were over 100-foot deep, are proof of the district administration’s inaction against the unauthorised miners in the area.

“Such work is not possible without the involvement of the government staff concerned. They (the officials concerned) must be hand in glove with these illegal miners,” said the Deputy Commissioner, claiming that she did not get even a single report regarding this.

Besides, at least 40 crushers are functioning, which villagers claim, are also unauthorised. At the unauthorised mining sites, nearly 10 functional stone crushers were found. Five JCB machines and a number of tippers were also found parked there.

“Many of these crushers are owned by politicians. We have reported the matter a number of times to the Mining Department, the local police and senior administrative officials, but to no avail. Mining has been continuing here for the past 10 years,” said one of the villagers.

At one such site, several trees were found axed and their trunks were lying all around. “Now, the miners are all set to dig this hillock,” the villager said.

Asked about what action would be taken, Sapra said she would initiate a high-level inquiry into the matter. “I will prepare a detailed report in this connection and send it to the state government. The Punjab Pollution Control Board authorities will be asked to submit a report on the crushers in the area. Senior officials of the police and other departments concerned, including Mining, will also be directed to initiate action in this regard,” the Deputy Commissioner said.

Sapra said strict action would be taken against the officers and persons found guilty.

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