Nawanshahr: The district police have booked official contractors of all six quarries in the district for illegal mining, a day after chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s tweet.
Twenty people, mostly drivers, present at the sites when a district administration team raided and seized the machinery on Tuesday have also been arrested.
Meanwhile, the CM has in Chandigarh called a meeting of DCs and SSPs of 14 districts to discuss the issue on Thursday.
As per media reports , those booked in Nawanshahr are Jagvir Inder Singh, owner of Burj Tehal Das quarry; Randeep Singh, of Bairsaal quarry; Poonam Aggarwal from Calcutta of Lallewal quarry; Sunil Kumar of Mandala quarry; Kudratdeep Singh of Malikpur quarry and Mohali-based Pinjore Royalty company of Khosa quarry. “We have booked official contractors of quarries and will ask them to join investigation,” said Nawanshahr SSP Satinder Singh. Rahon Police have registered an FIR under the Mines and Minerals Act, and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Act against the 26 accused.
Police found that sand was being extracted from areas that were not even allotted to contractors. “Fake ‘Vatment’ slips with forged stamps were recovered from the possession of those arrested. These were not issued by any department.”
Even as, on paper, the mining department had suspended work at the Malikpur quarry, extraction of sand was on. Field mining officer Surinderjit Singh said, “Work at the Malikpur quarry was suspended on February 6, after the contractor failed to pay his installments.” A resident, however, said, “At least, 60-70 trucks filled with sand passed outside our houses every day.”
The use of machines like JCBs, poclains and excavators for mining is illegal, yet contractors deploy these with impunity. In its raids on the six quarries, police seized two poclains, two JCBs, one tractor and 30 tippers.