In the last seven months, the Pune district administration has taken action against 2,743 cases of illegal mining — the highest in the state towards the end of the financial year.
The district administration has registered FIRs in 62 cases and collected Rs 9 crore as fine. In the last five years, the administration said that this is the first time that action has been taken against so many cases in every taluka of the district in such a short span of time.
With rampant illegal sand mining in the district, the officials were asked to take action against such cases. The overall revenue collected in sand mining, which includes royalty as well as penalty, touched Rs 171 crore close to the target of Rs 175 set by the government this fiscal. The cases of sand mining were registered for illegal extraction of sand from river beds and quarry mining, said district officials. “We were on a mission and initiated action against those responsible for such activity. This is the largest ever so far, and every official contributed towards this action on sand mining cases. We have taken action in 2,743 cases in the district where we have impounded vehicles as well,” said Deputy Collector, sand mining, Shankararao Jadhav.
Large-scale violations have been observed in the district and in Indapur and Daund; nearly 70 cases of illegal mining using boats were caught in this period. Last year, the total number of cases were only 448 in the same period with 48 FIRs registered.
The state government had recently directed the district administration to set up committees to check illegal extraction of sand from rivers. The district collector heads these committees comprising superintendent of police, regional transport officer and district mining officer. “We had a team in every taluka of the district and the actions were initiated against illegal sand mining on the river bed and illegal quarrying activities,” said Jadhav.
In the raid conducted from September to December, of the total 2,248 cases – 485 cases have been against illegal quarrying and 1,763 cases against illegal sand mining in the river bed. In the following months, the figure is expected to touch 3,000 by end of March.