Illegal mining picks up in Jaisinghpur

Illegal mining picks up in Jaisinghpur

Ravinder Sood

Palampur, June 5

At a time when state agencies, including the police, are busy in coronavirus-related duties, the mining mafia is carrying out the illegal activity with impunity in the Jaisinghpur area

of Palampur.

Even in broad daylight, a number of trucks, tippers, poclain and JCB machines could be seen on the Alampur–Jaisinghpur highway along the Beas extracting sand and stones from the river. Dust from stone crushers has made the lives of villagers residing nearby miserable.

Talking to The Tribune, residents of the Jaisinghpur area said JCBs and tippers could be seen extracting stones and sand from the Beas near the sabzi mandi during late evening hours.

Although two JCB machines were impounded by the police last month when they reported the matter to the authorities, the mafia resumed work with heavy earth movers the next day, alleged the villagers.

Besides, illegal mining was also underway in other rivers and rivulets in the area, where small tractor-trailers had been pressed into service.

The mafia was supplying mining material to more than 10 stone crushers situated on the banks of the Beas.

In Jaisinghpur, it is

free-for-all in the absence of any check by the

Mining Department.

The department has also failed to follow the directions of the NGT and the state government with regard to earmarking the area allotted for mining so that no illegal activities are carried out outside the leased area.

Jaisinghpur MLA Ravinder Ravi Dhiman said despite opposition by local residents, there was no let-up in the illegal activity.

The MLA said he had apprised the authorities concerned of the situation several times. Though the work stopped for a while, it resumed again after some time.

He said natural water resources were drying up and level in the local rivulets had also gone down. Rivers in the area were also changing their course, leading to floods.

“Most stone crushers work 24x7, making the lives of villagers miserable. Students cannot study and elders cannot sleep”, he added.

“Residents of Jaisinghpur have high hopes from new DGP Sanjay Kundu, who has announced to check illegal mining,” said a local panchayat pradhan.

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