THE MOHALI district administration seems to be facing a new hurdle in taking on the mining mafia as the administration has been finding it hard to arrest the owners of JCB machines impounded during raids by mining officials as they were not registered with the district transport department. The Additional District Commissioner (ADC) has ordered an inquiry and asked the transport department to submit a report after checking the impounded JCB machines.
ADC Charandev Singh Maan, also the nodal officer for taking action against illegal mining, said that though they had impounded eight JCB machines in Zirakpur and Mubarikpur during the anti-mining raids, seven JCBs were not registered with the transport department. He added that it was strange how the transport department did not register the machines which is mandatory.
“Our teams raided and seized the JCB machines. But the people, operating these machines, fled from the spot. The FIRs were registered against unknown people. When police started investigation, it was found that these machines did not have any registration numbers. Then, the owners were identified after verifying the chassis numbers of the machines,” the ADC added.
When asked what action was taken against the owners of the machines, the ADC added that in most of the cases, the owners said that they had leased out the machines to contractors and they were not aware of the machines being used for illegal mining.
Mann said he had ordered an inquiry and directed the transport department to check the JCB machines being operated in the crusher zones of Mubarikpur and take action if the machines were not registered. “By not getting these machines registered, these people are causing a loss to the government. They also indulged in illegal mining and it seems to be a bigger scam as to how these machines were operated by these people without any registration,” he added.
The ADC further stated that it is mandatory to register the poke lanes with the transport department but it came to their notice that poke lanes were also not registered in Mubarikpur area. Replying to a question about the number of FIRs filed for illegal mining, Mann said this year, they have registered 14 FIRs so far, while 67 FIRs were filed in 2017 and 24 in 2016.