AFTER THE residents of Khijrabaad lodged a complaint against illegal mining in Majri block, Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Kaur Sapra carried out surprise checking in the area on Sunday. She said that she would send a detailed report to the government as illegal mining was going on unabated in the area. The DC sought a report from the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) about the crushers being run in the area. She alleged that she was kept in the dark by the forest and revenue department officials on this matter.
Asserting that she came to know about the mining when some villagers lodged complaints, she said she would meet the senior officers to take action against the culprits, including the lower-rung employees of forest department and revenue department. She added that as many as 35 crushers were being run in the area but neither police nor any department knew whether these were legal.
“It is a nexus where many lower-rung employees of departments concerned and even police might have been involved. Not a single official of any department concerned had informed me about the illegal mining. I will investigate the matter. I will also ask the SSP to take action against the erring employees,” she said. Sher Mohammad, a resident of Khijrabaad and one of the complainants, told Chandigarh Newsline that he had lodged several complaints with the departments concerned but no action was taken against the contractors involved in the illegal practice. He added that the contractors had axed hundreds of trees illegally.
“We received threatening calls last night that we would be booked in false cases. I have been fighting for long against these people but nobody ever listened to me,” Sher Mohammad said. Gurwinder Singh, another complainant, claims that the contractor’s men start mining in the evening which goes on till late in the night. He added that illegal mining had created 30 to 40 feet deep craters, posing danger to the residents of three villages of Khijrabaad, Kubbaheri and Mirpur.
“We started stopping the trucks when they passed through our villages. But the contractors have political connections. When we inform the police, they also do not listen to us,” Gurwinder alleged.