TAKING a serious view of alleged violation of norms,the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday took suo motu notice of illegal mining activities continuing unabated in Punjab.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Augustine George Masih has taken suo motu notice of a news item published in an English daily on Monday. Converting the same into a PIL,the high court on Tuesday issued notices to the Punjab government and impleaded principal secretaries of Industries and Home departments as respondents in the case. The court has given two weeks to Punjab to respond to the notices. Referring to the news item,the bench observed that illegal mining continues in the Beas riverbed. The news report is self explanatory itself, it stated.
The order stated: In the news report,it is stated that heavy JCB machines crawl right into shallow waters competing for the wet sand gravel natural mixtures. Despite official probe report,illegal mining has continued unabated. It has also been stated that the Punjab industries department,in its probe on illegal mining,has acknowledged at least 55 such giant machines running illegally,but their owners continue to use them unabated…
The aforesaid activity,the bench ruled,is stated to be going on under the nose of the police naka of Madhopur on the Pathankot-Jammy national highway. The gravel consignments travel through a 1-km stretch road leading through the naka or take a 3-km road with potholes where there is no sign of the police,the court said.
Night movement is also stated to be going on. The report states that when asked,policemen say that on the night in question,25 to 30 trucks had passed and they had no instructions not to allow the movement of building material consignments during night. The aforesaid,prima facie,appears to be a serious violation of the norms and affecting the environment of the area…, it added.
The petition will come up for hearing on October 23.