Sarkaria orders crackdown on illegal mining, directs officials to register cases
KS Diwan/ royalpatiala.in/ Chandigarh
With an aim at cracking down on illegal mining and tax evasion by miners, Punjab Mining and Geology Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria on Thursday ordered to register case against those indulged in the illegal practice.
Sarkaria said that Mining department had received reports of illegal mining from some parts of the state, which had led to heavy losses for the state exchequer and needed to be checked on priority.
Directing the department officials to take strict action against the illegal miners, the Minister also warned that strict action would also be taken against those land owners whose land is being illegally mined. The recovery will be made according to the extent to which the sand has been extracted and no political interference would be tolerated in the matter.
The Mining Minister said that out of the total 7 mining clusters in Punjab, 6 clusters have been auctioned and the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab government was fully committed to provide sand to the people at reasonable price.
To prevent the sand prices to soar, Sarkaria said, under the new mining policy contractors have been barred to sell the sand over Rs 900 per 100 sq ft. It is pertinent to mention that Punjab government has earned record Rs 274.75 crore from the e-auction of six clusters of mines and the Mohali cluster is yet to be auctioned. The state government has set a target to earn over Rs 300 crore annually from the mines, he added.