In A blow to the Punjab government,the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday stayed the e-auction of minor mineral quarries in 19 districts of the state.
The auction was to start from Monday and continue till July 3.
However,the state had proposed to defer the auction to July 9. As many as 115 minor mineral sand or gravel quarries in 19 districts were to be e-auctioned. On the previous hearing,the high court had directed the Punjab government to file its response to a petition filed by Chandigarh resident Barinder Singh Dhillon. The petitioner had sought directions to quash the auction notice issued on June 14.
The Punjab government had notified the e-auction of 115 minor mineral quarries in Faridkot,Moga,Barnala,Sangrur,Ferozepur,Mansa,Nawanshahar,Jalandhar,Bathinda,Rupnagar,Hoshiarpur,Fazilka,Mohali,Amritsar,Tarn Taran,Gurdaspur,Ludhiana,Pathankot and Kapurthala districts.
Holding a contract of mining sand at Gug Daghra village in Jalandhar from March 1,2013 to February 26,2015,the petitioner had told the court that the state authorities were set to auction 10 acres for mining in the village where he held the mining contract over 59.94 acres.
Dhillon further told the court that the highest bidder had to himself obtain approval of the environment management plan from the district-level committee.
Claiming that the procedure laid down in the Union Ministry of Environment And Forests notification dated September 14,2006,for obtaining environment clearance,was long drawn out and cumbersome and a minimum of 270 days were required for the same,he alleged that Punjab government did not comply with the directions.