Chandigarh, April 28
Punjab has stopped the use of ‘poclain machines’, including JCBs and other heavy machines, in the riverbeds for mining. Information to this effect was furnished before a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court during the resumed hearing of a PIL on the issue of illegal mining in border areas.
Security hazard: BSF report
In its report on illegal mining in border areas, the BSF had told the HC that the presence of “hundreds of labourers” so close to the IB was perceived to be a “big security hazard”
Appearing before the Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Arun Palli, the state counsel said the direction was issued in pursuance of earlier orders by the High Court. He also undertook to file an affidavit in this regard.
Taking up the matter, the Bench granted the state further time to file status/action taken report. The counsel for the respondent-Union of India was also directed to file an affidavit regarding the steps taken by its departments, including the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Army.
In its scathing report on illegal mining in the border areas, the BSF had earlier told the High Court that the presence of “hundreds of labourers” — whose antecedents had not been verified by the local police — so close to the International Border was perceived to be a “big security hazard”.
In the report placed before the Bench by senior panel counsel for Union of India Arun Gosain, the BSF also stated that mining/excavation began before sunrise and went on till late night. At times, it went on throughout the night. “In recent days, there has been many drone incursions from Pakistan, where the possibility of dropping contraband, arms/ammunition at their camp site/vehicles could not be ruled out, which is causing huge threat to the security of the International Border fence,” the report added.
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