Tribune News Service
Mandi, October 3
Illegal mining is rampant on the long stretch of Suketi, Sone Khad, Kansa rivulets and Beas riverbed in Balh, Dharampur and Pandoh area of district Mandi. This is posing a grave threat to the ecology of the area.
Sources told The Tribune that mining mafia was plundering nature resources round the clock. They had engaged workforce to extricate sand and stone for construction material from different rivulets.
Locals rue that the mining mafias were selling sand on high rates. They even change the course of river to extricate material from one or the other side of the river. Shortage of staff in mining department and political patronage to offenders had aggravated the situation in district.
Talking to The Tribune Inderjit Singh, a native of Pandoh, said despite close vigil, mining mafia was active on the banks of the Beas. “Illegal mining was diminishing our natural resources and posing threat to the ecology of area besides causing loss of revenue to the government. This should be curbed immediately”, he remarked.
Thakur Das, a native of Dharampur, said the mining mafia has no fear of law, who continue to rob the resources of Sone Khad. The authority should conduct frequent raids and impose heavy penalty on the offenders to curb the menace, he added.
The mining department has detected 165 cases in different parts of district, which of them 101 cases had been compounded.
In its special campaign against mining mafia, district police have issued 981 challans this year and recovered fine as Rs 26 lakh under mining Act.
This week alone 13 cases were detected at Pandoh, Panarsa, Dharampur, Balh, Joginder Nagar and a few other places and vehicles of offenders impounded from the site.
Mining officer Kulbhushan Sharma stated, “The situation was under control. Mining guards were deputed at suspected places to visit the area frequently and we succeeded to nab few offenders, who were active in the area for a long time.”
“We also take help from police authorities time to time and joint raids have been conducted to check the illegal practice of mining,” he added.
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