Captain called a meeting DCs and SSPs of 14 districts to discuss

Chandigarh, March 7:2018 Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has called a meeting tomorrow of the DCs and SSPs of 14 districts to discuss the issue of illegal mining as well as the state’s Mining Policy, for the review of which a 3-member cabinet sub-committee was set up today.

The DCs and SSPs of the 14 districts of the state where mining takes place have been asked to join the meeting with the Chief Minister to give their inputs on the Mining Policy, said an official spokesperson, adding that ways to curb illegal mining activities in the state would also be discussed.

Among the DCs and SSPs summoned for the meeting are those of Amritsar, Faridkot, Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur, Patiala, Pathankot, Jalandhar and Ludhiana, said the spokesperson.

The Chief Minister earlier informed the state cabinet that he had received several complaints from DCs and SSPs regarding certain clauses in the Mining Policy that make its implementation difficult.

Captain Amarinder, who had yesterday ordered a massive crackdown on illegal mining on the Sutlej river bed after spotting unuathorised use of certain equipment from his chopper, underlined the need to streamline the entire system to curb illegal mining while, at the same time, ensuring that genuine contractors are not harassed in any way.

Acting on the Chief Minister’s suggestion, the Cabinet set up a sub-committee to review the Mining Policy and suggest ways of making it more effective and stringent. The sub-committee consists of Local Government Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Finance Minister Manpreet Badal and Rural Development & Panchayats Minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, according to an official spokesperson.

Meanwhile, a Mining Department spokesperson said so far 4285 FIRs against illegal mining activities have been registered in various districts under the relevant Act and Rules. Teams of police and civil officials are also on the job of tracking all such activity, especially in the areas where machines were spotted yesterday by the Chief Minister.