The district administration has finally reacted to the large scale illegal mining rampant in Ajnala constituency of Amritsar district after The Indian Express highlighted the issue.
Officially, there should be no mining in Ajnala at this time of the year. But in blatant violation of rules, the sand mafia had been minting money not only through mining but also by imposing heavy “Gunda Tax” on it.
Reacting to The Indian Express report, Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat has ordered a probe into the situation.
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“I have formed a team comprising DSP Ajnala, Sub divisional Magistrate, General Manager Commerce and Industry Department and Forest Range Officer to look into the matter. We will take appropriate action against the culprits,” Bhagat said.
A case has been registered against Bachan Singh, Puran Singh,Kulwant Singh, and Harbans Singh under the Mining Act for illegal mining in Sahowal.
Independent MLA and founder of Insaf Simranjit Singh Bains inspected the mining site on Tuesday.
“We had information about the illegal mining in Sahowal and other parts of Ajnala constituency,” said Bains.
“The reality is that even the deputy commissioner cannot do anything as the mining mafia reports directly to their political bosses. Illegal mining has being controlled from Muktsar district and a big political family earns around Rs 90 crore. Even leaders have no control over illegal mining in their region. They do not get any share of it,” alleged Bains.
The legislator, who has previously protested against illegal mining in the state, asked for the simplification of mining policy.
“The complication in mining policy is designed to help mining mafia and so that the common man would not be able to earn money from sand available in his own land. Gunda tax has increased prices of land so much that even lower middle class man cannot think about constructing a home. This must be abolished,” he said.
The sand mafia had bought over local resident through jobs. The Insaf team discovered this when they were opposed by the residents.