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Posted at: Jun 27, 2019, 7:07 AM; last updated: Jun 27, 2019, 7:07 AM (IST)

Villagers protest illegal mining at Haroli village

Villagers protest illegal mining at Haroli village
Kangar residents stop the JCB machines from mining.

Lalit Mohan

Tribune News Service

Una, June 26

The residents of Kangar village in Haroli assembly constituency have protested against the illegal mining taking place in the area. The members of Kangar panchayat yesterday went to the Swan river bed and stopped the JCB machines engaged in illegal mining. The panchayat officials later submitted a complaint to the police officials to take action against people resorting to illegal mining in their area.

Shashi Bala, pradhan of the village, while taking to The Tribune, said that the illegal mining of sand in their area was threatening Swan river canalisation work. In case the bundhs constructed along the Swan river breach in the monsoons, this would cause heavy damage to the land of villagers.

She alleged that the village panchayat has written to the police and mining authorities regarding illegal mining taking place in their area many times but no action was being taken against the culprits as they enjoyed political patronage.

Mohinder Pal, panch in the village, said that despite ban, mechanical mining was taking place in the Swan. Huge dumps of sand collected along the banks of the river could be seen. They are then further transported outside the state.

Vinod Bittu, block pradhan of Haroli Congress, said that heavy vehicles carrying up to 30 to 50 tonnes sand were plying in the rural areas of Haroli Assembly constituency. Since most roads in the area were designed for loads up to nine tonnes they are being badly damaged due to heavy pressure being created by heavy vehicles carrying sand.

Mukesh Agnihotri, CLP leader and sitting MLA from Haroli assembly constituency, said that the BJP came to power alleging that various mafias were thriving during the Congress rule. However, now when the saffron party was ruling the state, illegal mining in Una had crossed all limits.

Agnihotri alleged that huge dumps of illegally mined sand can be seen along the banks of the river and inside. The sand mined illegally was being smuggled out of the state to Punjab. During the stint of the Congress rule CCTV cameras were installed at various entry points in the state to keep a check on number of vehicles carrying illegally mined material out of the state. However, most the CCTV cameras are now non functional and hundreds of heavy vehicles are indulging in carrying illegally mined sand from Swan river bed to Punjab.

The CLP leader alleged that the National Green Tribunal has totally banned mechanical mining in the river beds. However, it was strange that in Una no such ban was visible. He alleged that mining was taking place even outside the leased out areas for sand mining.

The mining officer Una, Paramjeet Singh was not available for comments despite efforts to contact him on phone.

Mining has crossed all limits: Agnihotri

  • Mukesh Agnihotri, CLP leader and sitting MLA from Haroli assembly constituency, said that the BJP came to power alleging that various mafias were thriving during the Congress rule. 
  • However, now when the BJP was ruling the state, illegal mining activities in Una had crossed all limits.
  • The sand mined illegally was being smuggled out of the state to Punjab.

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