100 check posts to tackle mining mafia : The Tribune India

100 check posts to tackle mining mafia

JAMMU: Facing revenue losses of crores of rupees due to illegal extraction from rivers by “politically well-connected” mining mafia, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has approved an ambitious plan to establish 100 check posts with Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.

100 check posts to tackle mining mafia

Sand being extracted from Balol rivulet. File Photo



Sumit Hakhoo

Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 10

Facing revenue losses of crores of rupees due to illegal extraction from rivers by “politically well-connected” mining mafia, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has approved an ambitious plan to establish 100 check posts with Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.

Official sources said the department of geology and mining would establish two dozen check posts by March next year and the entire project was expected to be completed by mid-2019, for which the department had approached the respective district administration and the revenue department to get the required permission for setting up of posts and for land.

Due to the lack of coordination between the police, district administration and geology and mining department despite the auction of sites and grant of permits for extraction of sand, gravel and boulders, the state is losing about Rs 300 crore annually.

“Our department is not an enforcer of law and is dependent on other agencies, especially the police, to control the extraction of minor minerals. There is inaction by the police and district administration,” said a senior official in the geology and mining department.

If a person has a permit to take only one truckload of sand, they bring 10 trucks on that one single permit. Unabated extraction is also causing big damage to strategic bridges, triggering floods and impacting course of various rivers across the state.

Department of geology and mining director Farooq Khan said the proposal had been finalised. “We face manpower shortage to keep a check on illegal extraction. But, these check posts — 50 in Jammu division and 50 in Kashmir — will give us some edge. They will be integrated with CCTV cameras,” said Khan.

Hundreds of tractors, trucks and mules can be seen stripping the river beds of its minerals wealth daily from unauctioned sites, despite a ban on the practice.

Rs 300-cr revenue loss 

Due to the lack of coordination between the police, district administration and geology and mining department despite the auction of sites and grant of permits for extraction of sand, gravel and boulders, the state is losing about Rs 300 crore annually.


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