Crackdown fails to deter illegal miners in Baddi

SOLAN: Even as the police have intensided their crackdown on the illegal mining activity in the industrial belt, there seems a little effect on ground.

editorial@tribune.com

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, February 13

Even as the police have intensided their crackdown on the illegal mining activity in the industrial belt, there seems a little effect on ground. The vulnerable spots, chiefly comprising the Sarsa riverbed and Dasomajra areas, have become the hotspot where illegal miners operate with impunity.

Tractor and utility vehicles owners and stone crushers are indulging in the illegal activity. Quarry material, including sand and gravel, is being transported into neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana for various realty projects with no fear of the law.

Admitting that the illegal trade was widespread and going on with impunity, Baddi Additional Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh said policemen had been strictly directed to monitor transportation of quarry material on the national highway from 8 pm to 6 am.

He said many vehicle owners were hoodwinking the police by placing temporary registration numbers even after availing the permanent ones to indulge in the illegal trade.

The tractors are being fined between Rs 10,000 and Rs 25,000, while tippers up to Rs 50,000, if caught transporting illegally mined quarry material. The Baddi police today imposed a fine of 28,500 in six cases, while recovered Rs 15,000 from yesterday’s five such cases. Penalty worth Rs 10,000 was imposed on one such case. Singh said two tractors and as many tippers were impounded today in Baddi for illegally carrying such material and the trade appears to be proliferating with impunity in the area.

Besides mining officials, the state government has assigned forest guards, police, officials of the PWD and IPH Departments. However, the illegal activity is going on rampant.

The high-handedness of the mining mafia can be gauged from the fact that they had managed to flee with quarry material-laden vehicles, despite the police presence after brandishing weapons in the Nalagarh area in the recent past. SDMs sand SPs, too, have faced attacks from these illegal operators in the past for being stopped from transporting such material.

Despite the state’s government’s resolve to check the proliferating activity from the industrial belt, a little success has been achieved in curbing it successfully.

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