Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday claimed that there was large-scale illegal mining happening near the bridge on Beas River.
The SAD President on Wednesday said he had filed a complaint against minister Sukhbinder Sarkaria and MLAs Santokh Singh Bhalaipur, Sukhpal Bhullar, Inderbir Bolaria, Ramanjit Singh Sikki, and Kulbir Singh Zira, along with mining kingpins Ashok Chandak, Rakesh Chaudhary, and Mohan Pal, at the Beas police station in regards to the illegal mining. He alleged that as per the National Green Tribunal, no mining activity was allowed within a five-kilometer radius of a bridge. In the present case, he added, sand was being mined at a distance of one kilometer from the Beas bridge.
“Some truck drivers, who were being charged a ‘goonda tax’ of Rs 16,000 per truck, have also filed a separate complaint against the sand mafia. The villagers have also filed a separate complaint saying that panchayat land was being mined by the mafia without their permission,” said Sukhbir.
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“We had visited the river bank during which a few hundred trucks, fork cranes, and even a pipeline on floaters was found on the spot. It was shocking that chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh was allowing the sand mafia to indulge in the daylight robbery of the state’s resources, barely one kilometre from the national highway,” alleged Sukhbir.
“The farmers told me that the police come to the spot every day, but only to collect bribes. Even today, after I visited the spot and witnessed the illegal mining, I rang up the civic authorities and the police to take action. But, they sent an officer to the spot only after one-and-half hours. Even the officers who came were tutored and justified the illegal activity by saying desilting work was going on at the site,” alleged Sukhbir.
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