Illegal mining picks up in Derabassi blockhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/illegal-mining-picks-up-in-derabassi-block-5526060/

Illegal mining picks up in Derabassi block

The residents of Kakrali village allege that the sand miners operate at night, digging up the sand until the early hours of the morning.

Illegal mining picks up in Derabassi block
A temporary road made by illegal sand miners at Kakrali village near Derabassi. (Express)

ILLEGAL SAND mining has started once again at Kakrali village near Ghaggar river in Derabassi Sub-Division, say residents of the village. The illegal miners have made temporary kutcha roads on the the river bed to ferry the sand.

The residents of Kakrali village allege that the sand miners operate at night, digging up the sand until the early hours of the morning. The villagers said that tipper trucks are used for ferrying the sand and no villager ventures toward the area due to the fear of mining mafia.

“There is a temporary road inside the river which connects to the main road. It was prepared by the sand miners. They put five to six big cemented pipes so that the water keeps flowing through them. They have covered the pipes with mud and made it into a kutcha road so it becomes a small bridge over the river. Who else could have made this and for what purpose?” said a Kakrali resident, who did not wish to be identified.

He added that the in the last 15 days the practice of illegal mining intensified suddenly and he saw the number of trucks and JCB machines increasing day by day.

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Another villager who owns a chunk of agricultural land near the banks of Ghaggar river said that he saw four to five JCB machines operating on the intervening night of January 4 and 5. He also saw around four to five tipper truck and a tractor-trailer in the river when he went to irrigate his fields.

“It was near my fields that the JCB machines were parked. One machine was digging up the sand while the others were parked near by. I stayed in the fields for around one and a half hour. When I was returning, I saw that the JCB machine was filling one of the trucks with sand,” he added.

Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) of Irrigation Department Raghav Garg said that the road or any kutcha bridge could not be made on the riverbed. He said that he shall visit the spot and take action against the people who paved the road.

SDO of mining department Bhag Singh said that the matter was not in his knowledge and he would visit the village and bring it to the notice of his senior officials.

Last year, the mining department issued notices to 45 farmers of the village on whose land the illegal mining took place. The Vigilance Bureau is already probing the case regarding the illegal mining in the area.