SAD demands judicial inquiry into rampant illegal sand mining in the State
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded an inquiry by a sitting Judge of the High Court to ascertain why no action was being taken against the sand Mafia despite instructions of the chief minister and demanded a complete expose of the culprits, abettors and their masters.
In a statement, the SAD’s vice president and spokesperson S. Maheshinder Singh Grewal said the latest disclosures about illegal sand mining being carried out at the Bairsal quarry in district Nawanshahar proved that the state administration did not deem it fit to check this brazen loot of government exchequer as well as pillage of the environment for reasons known to itself. “The high court inquiry should find out who is behind this and why government is behaving like a helpless spectator in the face of unabated illegal mining? Appropriate action should be taken in the matter and the guilty should be booked immediately”, he added.
Giving details, the SAD leader said that the sand Mafia was not even sparing sand quarries which had been shut down by the mining department due to pending dues against the bidders or other irregularities. He said the Bairsal quarry, where illegal sand mining was spotted on Wednesday, had been closed by the department since December 13 2018 as the lessee has failed to clear pending dues. “I wonder how this brazen illegal act escaped the notice of the district administration. District officials should be proceeded against for this lapse and it should also be ascertained whether this ‘lapse’ was deliberate”. He said it was surprising that even after the quarry was raided by the Vigilance department, no effort was made by the district administration to nab the culprits.
Holding the government machinery responsible for unabated illegal sand mining in the state, the SAD leader said it seemed the sand mafia was more powerful that the chief minister of Punjab. “The operations of the sand mafia have increased ever since the CM instructed officials to rein illegal mining. It appears this has happened because the tentacles of the sand Mafia go right up to the Congress high command. This is why the CM is not able to control the mafia and bring it to book” he added.
The SAD leader said the Congress government came into being by raising issues of sand mafia, drug mafia and complete waiver of farm loans. He said while sand mining and drug menace had increased in Punjab in the last two years, nearly 600 farmers had committed suicide after the government reneged on its promise to waive off their loans. He said chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh should explain why he had failed on all fronts, including failure to rein in the sand mafia.