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Villagers protest against rampant mining in Mohali

Hundreds of villagers,under the banner of Punjab Panchayat Union,held a massive protest and laid siege to the District Mining Office in Industrial Area,Phase I.

Written by Express News Service | Mohali |
February 2, 2011 1:41:15 am

Hundreds of villagers,under the banner of Punjab Panchayat Union,held a massive protest and laid siege to the District Mining Office (DMO) in Industrial Area,Phase I,here Tuesday. Alleging rampant illegal mining up and above the permissible limits and not even getting their one third share from the total amount at which the mining sites were auctioned in Mohali,Patiala and Ropar districts in August last year.

Union president Harminder Singh Mawi and Punjab Dalit Chetna Manch president Shamsher Singh,who also supported the protest,alleged that most of the mining sites were given to the influential persons and even as the six month auction period comes to close tomorrow,majority of the village panchayats had not been paid their one third share so far.

They also alleged that the mining of sand and other material was going on in full swing in utter disregard to the laid down norms and under the garb of mining contract,illegal mining was also rampant without any check. “Not only the deep and wide trenches were left due to rampant mining but also the village link roads and inner passages were badly damaged due to the overloaded vehicles of the mining contractors,” they further alleged,while threatening not to allow further auction if the previous dues were not cleared and the contractors found wanting were not penalised and not allowed to participate in the next auction.

The villagers rented the air with anti-government slogans and remained squatted all around the DMO for couple of hours. However,District Mining General Manager HS Pannu denied the charges and claimed that most of the panchayats were already paid their dues and the remaining will get the same very soon. “Still if anybody has any complaint,we are ready to get the matter looked into and do the needful,” he offered.

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On August 3 last,as many as 124 mining sites in Mohali,Patiala and Ropar districts were auctioned for a sum of Rs 20.05 crore against the reserve price of Rs 6.06 crore.

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