Illegal mining at Bhagowal village; three tippers seized, 5 booked

The Tribune | April 10, 2019

The state government’s claims regarding the prevention of illegal mining were proved futile when a case of illegal mining was exposed in a nearby Bhagowal village.

In the village, the sand mafia with the help of a earth mover had been illegally excavating several tippers of sand daily while the department concerned was in deep slumber. Today, after getting information from residents of the area, mediapersons reached the spot and found that at various places, 10 to 12-ft deep ditches were dug and sand was excavated from there.

When asked about it, the owner of a farmland, Balwant Singh, said his farm was located at a high place due to which he was getting the sand lifted from there.

When the farm was observed, it could be seen that 10-12-ft-deep ditches were dug in the field. It was clear that the land was being illegally mined.

The JCB operator said 10 to 12 tippers were extracted from the farm every day and the work was done continuously from 10 am to 5 pm.

When mediapersons asked DC Isha Kalia, she said it had come to her knowledge through the media just now that illegal mining was being done in Bhagowal.

She said strict action would be taken against the guilty after investigating the case.

She said a separate Mining Department has been set up to prevent unauthorised mining, whose officials would also be asked to reply in the matter. Even in a private land, a farm owner could not sell sand illegally.

She said in an area where illegal mining was going on, any person could complain immediately at the DC office or on the helpline number on which immediate action would be taken.

She said illegal Illegal mining would not be allowed at any place in the district and strict action will be taken against the guitly.

Later, SDM Major Amit Sarin reached the spot and examined the field from where the mining was being done and directed Mining Department officials to take further action.

He said nobody would be allowed to do illegal mining and action would be taken against those who were involved in it.

Under the leadership of SDM Major Amit Sarin, the team of the Mining Department visited the area and took action against illegal mining at two places in Bhagowal. It was revealed that the owner of the land had violated the Mining and Mineral Act, 1957.

Later, SDO-cum-Assistant Mining Officer Alok Chowdhary forwarded a complaint to the police which filed a case under Section 21 (1) of the Mining Act against the suspect and seized three tippers which were used for mining. The case has been filed against the land owner, Balwant Singh, a resident of the village, Sham Singh of Bhagowal, driver Gurmej Singh, a resident of Sattowal village in Hoshiarpur, Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Gandowal, and Jaswant Singh of Gandowal.

Sarin said every possible step would be taken to prevent illegal mining in the sub-division and strict action would be taken against those who would found guilty in such incidents.

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