The State Government was committed to check illegal mining in the State for which several concrete steps have been taken. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while virtually inaugurating Mining Check Posts for Bathari, Polian, Pandoga, Mehatpur and Gagret in Una district from Shimla today. He said that Rs. 1.01 crore had been spent on construction of these Check Posts and other necessary equipments.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the demand for sand, gravel and stone required for various developmental works such as establishment of new industries, road construction and other domestic needs was increasing constantly, thus it was necessary that scientific and proper exploitation of new resources was done and illegal mining must be curbed.
Chief Minister said that five check posts at Bathari, Polian, Pandoga, Mehatpur and Gagret would go a long way in checking illegal mining in the region. He said that a Congress leader from the area also accuses the present Government for doing nothing to check illegal mining, but the fact was that as many as 57 mining permits were provided by the previous State Government, which was a matter of concern. He said that Congress leader should understand that the illegal mining was flourishing in the area during Congress Government tenure.
Jai Ram Thakur said that in order to ensure that various developmental works were not affected due to shortage of minor minerals like sand, gravel and stone etc, the State Government has decided to auction small minerals available in various rivers and streams by open bidding in a transparent manner. He said that a provision of two years imprisonment and fine of up to Rs. 5 lakh or both have been made for the culprits involved in illegal mining, transportation and storage to check illegal mining. An online portal has been launched for simplification of the process of mining lease application to ensure transparency in the process of providing mining leases, he added.
Industries Minister Bikram Singh said that the border districts such as Una, Solan, Sirmour and Kangra were more prone to illegal mining activities and the Mining Check Posts would go a long way in checking illegal mining and transportation of illegal minerals to neighbouring States. He said that the State Government was expecting to get a Bulk Drug Pharma Park for the State which would be setup in Haroli Vidhan Sabha area of Una district. He said that this Park would provide employment and self-employment opportunities to thousands of youth of the district.
Vice Chairman SIDC Prof. Ram Kumar said that illegal mining activities were thriving during the tenure of the previous Congress Government. He also thanked the Chief Minister for being considerate towards the developmental demands of his area.
Chairman 6th Finance Commission Satpal Singh Satti, MLA Rakesh Jamwal, Political Advisor to the Chief Minister Trilok Jamwal, Director Industries Hansraj Sharma and other officers were present on the occasion.