Updated: January 22, 2021 2:36:20 am
The BJP on Thursday said that the Congress government in Rajasthan has failed to check illegal sand mining and demanded that the government takes into note the findings of the report of the central empowered committee (CEC) which was asked by the Supreme Court to look into the sand mining situation in the state.
The opposition’s reaction came after The Indian Express report published on Thursday which highlighted how the CEC’s report indicted the Rajasthan government, saying that the state tacitly participated in ‘the free-for-all loot of this valuable natural resource’.
“Bajri is a big source of revenue for the Rajasthan government but in the past few years illegal mining has become a big challenge and has also worsened the law and order situation of the state. During the tenure of the past government, when he was in opposition, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had himself attacked this issue and expressed his grievances. But it is unfortunate that during his tenure, today (there is) illegal mining of sand, mafia has flourished and the law and order situation has been jeopardised,” state BJP president Satish Poonia told reporters on Thursday.
He added that the government should take into note the findings of the CEC and stop illegal mining in order to provide relief to the public.
Meanwhile, taking a stand contrary to the CEC report, members of the Gurjar Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti have also come out in the support of khatedari sand mining lease holders, who were slammed by the CEC in its report and held accountable for illegal mining.
“The allotment of the Khatedari sand mining leases was a decision taken by the Rajasthan government after making due changes in the Rajasthan Minor Mineral Concession Rules. It was the policy of the government. As a result, lakhs of poor people, particularly from the OBC, SC/ST and MBC communities were getting employment and this also was a plan to check illegal mining. But the CEC report says that Khatedari leases should be cancelled…The side of Khatedars were not heard…If Khatedari leases on agricultural lands are cancelled then the people who will benefit are the big mining barons,” said advocate Shailendra Singh Gurjar, general secretary, Gurjar Arakashan Sangharsh Samiti.
He demanded that the Khatedari mining leases not be cancelled by the government.
The recommendations of the CEC include termination of all the khatedari leases located within 5 km from the river bank as well as leases where violations are detected, and scrapping of the excess royalty collection contract system.
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