THE DISTRICT administration has failed to respond to three reminders of the Vigilance Bureau (VB) regarding illegal mining in Majri block in Kharar Sub-Division. The agency started the investigation around three months ago after residents of Khijrabaad village, the most affected village, alleged the illegal mining was going on unabated in the area. A VB official who is investigating the case told Chandigarh Newsline on condition of anonymity that they sent a letter to the district administration around a month ago, asking for details about the people alleged to be involved in illegal mining.
“The complainant in the case, Sher Mohammand, who is also a resident of Khijrabaad village, levelled allegations that illegal mining is going on in connivance with the mining department. After initiating the inquiry, we asked the district administration to give us the details of the people who were involved in the illegal business and provide the records of the land where the mining is going on. After sending the letter to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) around one month ago, we are still awaiting the administration’s reply,” the official said.
Mohali Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Kaur Sapra neither responded to phones calls nor replied to a text message.
Senior Superintendent of Police (Vigilance Bureau), Mohali range, Paramjeet Singh Virk said that he would check the facts with the officials concerned.
The complaint was lodged in 2015 and the probe was started three months ago by the agency. The statement of the complainant, Sher Mohammand, was recorded by the agency at its Sector 17 office, following which the agency asked for a reply from the district administration.
Sher Mohammad told Chandigarh Newsline that he lodged a complaint after the mining department, district administration and the Punjab Pollution Control Board failed to take any action against the people involved in illegal mining.
Sher Mohammand alleged that although illegal mining had slowed down a bit, it was still going on in their area.
“I have proofs which I gave to the department but no action was taken. It is strange that the district administration is saying that they do not have information about the illegal miners,” he said.
The portal, PB-GRAMS, which was launched by the administration three months ago for lodging complaints regarding illegal mining too failed to find any response from the people.
Asked about the performance of the portal, the Additional Deputy Commissioner and nodal officer to look after illegal mining complaints, Charandev Singh Mann, said that they received only one complaint on the portal. “As of now, we have a total of 16 complaints pending with us. Only one of them was received on the portal while others were received through helplines numbers,” he said.