Despite online sale of sand, no let-up in theft incidents - ECAS Punjab

Despite online sale of sand, no let-up in theft incidents

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Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, November 1

Despite online sale of sand, announced by the local administration on September 12, thefts continue unabated in the district. The government has no separate record of those who have applied for online sand purchase in the district.

Information gathered by The Tribune suggests 14 persons have been arrested, 16 booked and 28 sand-laden tractor-trailers confiscated so far. This translates to one case of theft being registered every alternate day since the announcement.

On October 6, the authorities impounded two sand-laden vehicles bearing 'on Army duty' stickers, which were meant to deceive the enforcement agencies.

Deputy Commissioner Arvind Pal Singh Sandhu had announced online sale of sand in the district at the rate of Rs 9 per cubic feet from designated quarries. However, there are no legal quarries in the district. The sand was to be provided to the applicants from other districts, preferably Ferozepur, that has two legal quarries. The sources say most of the sand is excavated from the bed or banks of a Sutlej creek passing through Fazilka and Jalalabad subdivisions. The administration had announced penalty ranging between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 4 lakh, besides cancellation of driver's licence and registration certificate of offenders. However, information suggests no such punishment has been imposed on the 30 offenders. Executive Engineer, Mining, Pawan Kapoor says no separate record is available with the department of those who have applied for online purchase in the district. "Since the sale is centralised, the record is available with the authorities in Chandigarh," he adds.

from The Tribune

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