THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Punjab government and Mohali police on a plea seeking directions to halt the alleged extensive illegal mining being carried out at Salempur Khurd and Siana Majra villages. The plea alleged the mining was being done in “collusion and connivance with the authorities”, including Mohali’s mining officer.
The plea filed by a resident of Mohali alleged that sarpanch of Salempur Khurd along with his associates has been doing illegal mining in the villages in about 100 acres of land and “are excavating minerals like sand, clay, earth, gravel, gataka, without any permission from the concerned authorities, and in violation of the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and the Punjab Minor Mineral Rules, 2013”.
A division bench of Justices Surya Kant and Sudhir Mittal sought a response from the authorities and asked the government counsel to send the reply copy in advance to the petitioner’s counsel. Jagjit Singh in the plea has said the excavation has been carried out 15 to 20 foot deep at a distance of just 10 metres from his house and even the water pipes of the government tubewell have been damaged in the process.
Stating that an FIR was registered against the accused persons at Sadar Kurali police station on November 11, Jagjit in the plea has said that only one person has been so far arrested and no effort has been made to arrest others named in the FIR.
“The said FIR is mere an eyewash, since the illegal mining in village Salempur Khurd and Saini Majra is still going on,” the plea reads. “The official respondents were not taking any action against the mining mafia and the sarpanch of the village Avtar Singh himself is running the mining mafia.”
Jagjit has said similarly the illegal mining has also been conducted in Saini Majra in Kharar tehsil of Mohali but the officials have failed to seize the material or confiscate the tools, vehicles and other equipment used during the operation as the accused persons “are having full support of the ruling party in the State of Punjab”.