Criminal nexus: As Haryana govt goes soft, mining mafia back to business in Aravallis : The Tribune India

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Criminal nexus: As Haryana govt goes soft, mining mafia back to business in Aravallis

Decline was seen after govt crackdown following mowing down of Haryana Police DSP by a dumper carrying illegally quarried stone in July

Criminal nexus: As Haryana govt goes soft, mining mafia back to business in Aravallis

Illegal mining underway in Bader village of Nuh. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Geetanjali Gayatri

Chandigarh, September 7

Nearly two months after the crackdown on illegal mining, it is business as usual in Haryana’s Nuh, a no-mining district, as also in other mining zones of the state even though “operations” remain low-key and covert.

In Bader village under Ferozepur Jhirka block of Nuh bordering Rajasthan, five machines have been illegally extracting stones in the no-mining zone Aravallis daily. Villagers maintained that though illegal mining had remained suspended for over a month due to the heightened vigil, it resumed gradually. “Quarrying is not done openly anymore. It continues in deep pockets and stone is being ferried from the Aravallis to local crushers,” a villager said.

Sources said mining was going on with the “connivance” of two stone crushers of the area. “From the information we got, those extracting stone have been provided five machines by crushers. Also, a drilling machine and explosives to carry out blasts were at the site when I went there. The sarpanch and other villagers know about it, but it’s our source of livelihood,” said another villager.

Illegal mining saw a decline after the government crackdown following the mowing down of a Haryana Police DSP by a dumper carrying illegally quarried stone in July this year. Turning the heat on stone crushers and villagers of the area, the government had carried out raids and “picked up” suspects while vehicles had been seized. However, with the pressure around illegal mining easing and the government yet to start surveillance of “sensitive areas” through drones (since procurement is taking time), illegal mining is gradually picking pace even in the mining zones, including Yamunanagar, Faridabad, Mahendragarh and Bhiwani.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had, during the Vidhan Sabha monsoon session last month, said the raids on stone crushers had shown a mismatch in stocks and bills. The raids, however, have now almost stopped and officials are only banking on surprise checks.

Mining Minister Mool Chand Sharma said district committees formed to check mining were empowered to seize dumpers and take action. “The procurement of drones will take some time, but our teams are keeping a close watch. The fact that we have seized vehicles proves we are on the job,” he said.

Sharma pointed out that no amount of checking would be enough till unemployment in Nuh was addressed. About mining in Bader village, he said the area shared its border with Rajasthan. “There is no way to ascertain it’s happening on our side,” he said.

While 40 per cent of the stone crushers in Yamunanagar were shut and would start work once mining resumed after September 15, sources said strict vigil by the police had slowed down illegal mining.

A resident of Mangar village in Faridabad, Sunil Harsana, says, “There is hardly any let-up in such activities as the drive against illegal mining is only on paper.” In Mahendragarh district, which has more than 125 stone crushers, neither drone surveillance nor stock verification of crushers has started yet.

Surveillance lacking

  • Five machines illegally extracting stone in the Aravallis, a no-mining zone, in Nuh district
  • Illegal mining picking pace in Yamunanagar, Faridabad, Mahendragarh and Bhiwani too
  • The illegal activity had come down after raids in the aftermath of a DSP’s killing in Nuh

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#Ferozepur #illegal mining #Nuh


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