5 of seven clusters shut, sand charges zoom
Ruchika M Khanna
Chandigarh, April 21
With 5 of the seven mining clusters in Punjab closed, the charges of sand have risen considerably.
The costs of mineral have elevated by over 100 per cent since January. The costs have risen from Rs 1,900-2,100 per 100 cubic ft to Rs 4,000 per 100 cubic ft now. As the general public is compelled to shell extra, the state authorities is all set to take up the sale of sand in its personal fingers.
Criminal activity consuming into funds
We can not enable any unlawful mining as it’s not simply consuming into the fina-nces that ought to go to the treasury, but in addition as a result of it modifications the ecology of the state. —Harjot Singh Bains, Mining Minister
Official sources informed The Tribune that the federal government would first run a pilot venture in Amritsar and Ferozepur clusters, whereby mining can be finished by a personal celebration, chosen via bids. The excavated materials would then be bought by the federal government, mentioned the sources, including that this mannequin would then be replicated. “The concept is to maximise provide out there, in order to carry down the costs,” mentioned a senior authorities functionary.
Mining operations in 5 clusters — Ropar, Ferozepur (consists of Moga, Muktsar, Fazilka, Bathinda and Faridkot), Hoshiarpur (consists of Gurdaspur), Amritsar (together with Tarn Taran and Kapurthala) and Mohali (consists of Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib) — have been stopped. Many of the mines had been closed after the federal government demanded the due contract charge.
It could be famous that three of the seven clusters had been with a Jammu-based mining contractor, two had been allotted to a Delhi-based group, who additionally has curiosity in liquor enterprise, one every is with a Jaipur-based contractor and with a consortium headed by a former MLA.
The rationale for the rise in costs is due to the widening hole in demand and provide. Curiously, the hole just isn’t as a lot due to the shutting down of mining operations, however as a result of the transporters and crushers have been hoarding mined minerals.
Having declared that it might have a zero tolerance for unlawful mining, the federal government has been appearing powerful in opposition to the contractors.
“We can not enable any unlawful mining as it’s not simply consuming into the funds that ought to go to the state treasury, but in addition as a result of it modifications the ecology of the state. Immediately, we closed all crushers within the Nurpur Bedi space in Ropar. These had been concerned in excavating sand from hillocks. The fabric saved there’ll now be made accessible to public and the charges will come down,” Punjab Mining Minister Harjot Singh Bains informed The Tribune.