Review of Mining Policy
The AAP Punjab government is reviewing the current mining policy to closely monitor every mining operation with the help of technology and to eliminate from Punjab illegal mining by the sand mafia.
“The sand mining will be monitored through drones. Boards will be put up at every sand mining site showing that these are “legal sites”. Besides, CCTV cameras will also be installed at every sand mining site which will be monitored from the Central Control Room,” Mining minister Harjot Singh Bains said. (Link)
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann asked sand contractors to strictly comply with the terms and conditions of mining stipulated in the agreement done with the state government to ensure hassle free and smooth supply of sand to the people on the rates fixed by the state.
“If someone still forces you to resort to illegal practices, then you should record the conversation and upload the same on the ‘Anti Corruption Action Line’ number 9501-200-200, ” Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said. (Link)
Government plans to take over Mining operations
The Aam Aadmi Party government was planning to take over mining operations in Punjab in April 2022 to check the soaring prices of sand.
The government was expected to take over the Ferozepur cluster which includes mines in Moga, Ferozepur, Muktsar, Fazilka, Bathinda and Faridkot.
“The department has terminated the contract of Amritsar and Ferozepur mining clusters and operation of Rupnagar and Mohali clusters have been suspended over non-payment of the (fee) installments. We are reviewing the contracts of suspended clusters, while the other two that have been terminated, our government plans to operate by itself,” Mining minister Harjot Singh Bains said. (Link)
Crushers sealed in Kheda Kalmot
In April, 2022, the AAP Punjab government ordered the sealing of all crushers in Kheda Kalmot in Ropar district, for their failure to submit their fees to the government.
This decision was taken in a meeting of mining minister Harjot Bains with the officials of the mining department.
The Mining Officer, Ropar and Mohali, was also suspended.
- Ground report video, in Punjabi, stating that illegal mining was rampant during the Chief Ministership of Charanjit Channi.