Plea

HC puts state mining policy in abeyance

CHANDIGARH: Less than two months after the state government came out with the Punjab State Sand and Gravel Mining Policy-2018, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday stayed proceedings on the basis of the scheme and e-notice for auction of mines.

editorial@tribune.com

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 20

Less than two months after the state government came out with the Punjab State Sand and Gravel Mining Policy-2018, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday stayed proceedings on the basis of the scheme and e-notice for auction of mines.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli made it clear that any proceedings in furtherance of auction notice dated October 31 and the policy dated October 26 would remain stayed.

The directions came on a petition filed in public interest by senior advocate Gagneshwar Singh Walia against the state government and other respondents for quashing the policy. Directions were also sought for quashing e-auction notice dated October 31.

In the petition filed through counsel Ramanpreet Singh Bara and argued by senior advocate Gurminder Singh, Walia contended that the same would lead to “huge” environmental degradation and plundering of natural resources in the form of minor minerals for profiteering,

Describing minerals as “state-owned resource”, Walia added that these were being given for mining without even demarcation and earmarking of areas. The act was completely illegal and against the law laid down by the High Court as also the Supreme Court as the state was leaving the entire area of one or more districts in the hands of the contractor “to do as he pleases” against the established principles.

Walia submitted that the department was going to conduct the auction without carrying out replenishment study for quarries and the riverbeds; and without even identifying the stretches of the water bodies. This, he contended, was also against the Supreme Court judgment passed in Deepak Kumar’s case.

Terming the auction notification and mining policy “erroneous on the face of it”, he added that the auction in terms of the notice was to be held for whole district such as Ropar and Pathankot. It authorised the contractor carryout mining activity from anywhere in the whole district, whether it was the river bed or the other areas “in connivance with the land mafia”.

The concerns

  • Quarries are being given for mining without even demarcation and earmarking of areas.
  • The state is leaving the entire area of one or more districts in the hands of the contractor “to mine it as he pleases”.
  • The government is going to auction mines without carrying out replenishment study for quarries and riverbeds; and without even identifying the stretches of the water bodies. 

Cities

View All

Despite NGT orders, MC fails to start garbage remediation

It was also told to develop a green belt, build a wall aroun...

Farmers get soil health cards

Scheme aimed at ensuring judicious use of fertilisers

Chief Engineer finds fault with Corbusier

Says Capitol Complex ‘nude’ building, terms it blunder

Feel unsafe returning from library at night, say PU girls

No e-rickshaws, hostellers have to book cab or go in groups

Two jailed for injuring student

Court imposes Rs 1K fine, acquits them of murder bid charges

Investigations to continue despite victim’s retraction

IG told to verify fairness of probe by P’kula police

NSUI members clash with cops during protest

Rally organised against education policy; DTC bus vandalise...

Rains, thunderstorm in Delhi

Temperature is likely to drop after Saturday

DC to take up ROB issue with Chief Secretary

Railways is delaying process to start construction of the br...

Division 7 cops in spot

Victim girl accuses them of bias in harassment case

Gang raising loan on fake jewellery busted, 5 held

95-gram ornaments recovered; 3 suspects escape

SUV rams into stationary truck, driver dies on spot

Couldn’t spot truck in time due to fog at Biza