The residents of Majri block have claimed that they have brought the matter of illegal mining in their villages to the notice of the district administration, but no action is being taken against the miners. District mining officer Simarpreet Kaur Dhillon, however, says that they have not received any complaint from the villagers. “Whenever we receive any complaint, we take suitable action against the offenders,” she says.
Sher Mohammad, a resident of Khijrabaad, a hot spot for illegal mining in the block, has told Chandigarh Newsline that the illegal mining has picked up pace in the last one month. “Illegal mining is taking place in shamlat (common) land of the village, which is around 80 acres,” he says.
“We have brought the matter to the notice of the district administration, but no action has been taken. In the past too, we had raised the issue. Our land is dug up 40 to 50-feet deep. We are helpless,” Sher Mohammad adds.
Naib Singh of Kubaheri village, which is around 4 km from Khijrabaad, says that their village is located in the foothills of Shivalik range, which makes it an ideal place for the illegal miners. “More than 50 crushers are running near the village. The link roads leading to our village are in shambles. Heavy traffic of tipper trucks has broken the roads. It is strange that the administration is not taking any action against it,” Singh says.
Gurwinder Singh, a Khijrabaad resident who has lodged complaints against illegal mining in the past, says that now they have given up as they are not getting any help from the administration. “We used to stop the tipper trucks passing through our village, but now we do not as we fear for our safety. Unknown people, who do illegal mining, had threatened some of our villagers around four months ago. We did not approach the police as the villagers said that they did not want any confrontation,” he says.