NGT crackdown on illegal mining in Ropar, orders Rs 315 cr recovery - ECAS Punjab

NGT crackdown on illegal mining in Ropar, orders Rs 315 cr recovery

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Tribune News Service

Ropar, July 12

The National Green Tribunal has asked the Punjab State Pollution Control Board to recover Rs 315 crore from the contractors found guilty in illegal sand mining at three sites in Ropar district. The NGT order dated July 10 pertains to the illegal mining reported at Swarha, Baihara and Harsa Bela sites.

The order comes in response to the report submitted by the Punjab state Mining Department to the NGT highlighting illegal mining at the sites under question. The order came in the wake of a complaint lodged by RTI activist Dinesh Chadha.

Illegal mining till 2018

  • Site: Minor Minerals
  • Swarha : 91.4 lakh MT
  • Baihara: 32.6 lakh MT
  • Harsa Bela: 40,000 MT

In November 2017, residents of Baihara village, accompanied by Dinesh Chadha, had lodged a complaint with the then Deputy Commissioner Gurneet Tej, alleging that a contractor was digging the riverbed using heavy machinery. On inspection, it was found that the riverbed was dug up 18 feet against the permissible 10 feet.

In another inspection on February 8, 2018, at Swarha and Harsa Bela, senior officials, including then ADC Lakhmir Singh and Ropar SDM Ruhi Dugg, found that the riverbed was dug up 40 ft deep, but digging was also carried out outside the allotted quarry area.

After Chadha moved the NGT in 2018 to seek action against the offenders, the tribunal asked a joint committee of the Central Pollution Control Board, Director (Mining) and the Punjab Pollution Control Board to take necessary measures to stop illegal mining.

That time too the NGT had directed the committee to take action against the erring officials within two months, but nothing has been done in the matter till now.


Illegal mining till 2018

Site Illegal digging

Swarha 91.4 lakh MT

Baihara 32.6 lakh MT

Harsa Bela 40,000 MT

from The Tribune

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