Acting tough against illegal sand-mining and storage, the department of Geology and Mining conducted massive surprise raids simultaneously in seven districts and recovered 87,211 metric tonne of sand and a penalty of Rs 70.46 lakh. The raids were conducted over a period of three days, concluding Sunday.
As many as 35 licence holders were raided by eight flying squads, recovering 87,211 metric tonne of illegal stored sand. Each team was led by an assistant geologist flying squad accompanied by two additional director rank officials raided these registered stockists in districts of Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Anand, Aravalli, Surendranagar, Mehsana and Sabarkantha.
“Taking necessary action, under the Gujarat Mineral (Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation and Storage) Rules 2005, a penalty of Rs 70.46 lakh has been imposed to these 35 licence holders for illegal or unaccounted sand storage. Leaving no room for challenging the recovery quantity, the teams have used GPS tools ensuring accurate measurements,” said Commissioner of Geology and Mining Department Roopwant Singh. There are nearly 7,000 registered licence holders of sand in the state. The officials revealed that similar raids would continue in other districts as well in order to curb illegal sand-mining and storage in the state.