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Illegal sand mining: Administration wakes up to Punjab CM Amarinder tweet


Amrinder Singh

Illegal sand mining: Administration wakes up to Punjab CM Amarinder tweet

Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s tweet on illegal mining, Nawanshahr district authorities on Tuesday sprung into action and in a massive crackdown seized huge machinery and detained 23 people in this connection.

The move came after Amarinder, while on his way to Kartarpur in his official helicopter,

spotted ‘illegal mining’ on the banks of Sutlej in Phillaur and Rahon. He tweeted pictures of JCB machines along the river.

In his tweet, the CM ordered a probe and asked deputy commissioners and senior superintendents of police concerned to seize the equipment.

The illegal sand mining has become a contentious issue in Punjab

since the Captain government had taken the charge, especially after names of some ruling party leaders surfaced in this regard.

Opposition parties have targeted the government over illegal mining, forcing the CM to order a set up of multi-department teams, headed by DCs to keep a check on this malpractice.

Both police and civil officials of the Nawanshahr district, who immediately rushed to check the illegal mining at 13 quarries in the district, said the quarries from which the sand was extracted are legal, but the machinery used to extract the sand is illegal.

Satluj river

The important part of the release was that he made the SSP directly responsible for illegal mining. His ‘air raid’ today confirms the impression that the orders of the state government are not taken seriously otherwise, the illegal sand mining along the Satluj river would have stopped the very next day.

The enormity of the illegal mining is evident again from today’s press release that claimed the  Nawanshahr district and police administration seized 21 Poclain machines, 5 JCBs along with 30 Tippers (Trucks) and a tractor trolley from village Malikpur.

Aerial view

We have also detained 23 people in this connection,

while cases are yet to be registered as the police and mining teams are investigating the case, the SSP said.

The police and officials from the mining department had raided quarries in villages including Malikpur, Mandala, Behrsaal, Laalewal, Burjtehaldas and Khoje.

Sources said many people involved in illegal mining managed to flee from various spots, getting prior information about the raids.

Despite the ban on using machines like JCBs, poclains and excavators for mining, sources said

contractors use the machinery to extract more sand.

They said that as there is no check on the quantum of the sand miners are extracting,

they are taking benefit of extracting extra sand from the riverbed to earn big profits.

Jalandhar deputy commissioner Varinder Sharma said the district administration sent its teams to Phillaur,

but no illegal sand mining detected there.

Meanwhile, Amarinder asked the director general of police to expedite the formulation of a comprehensive strategy in coordination with the mining department and district administrations to ensure a complete end to illegal mining across the state.

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