Chief Secretary instructs all DCs to complete survey of potential mining sites


Punjab Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua, on Friday, directed all the deputy commissioners to complete the district survey reports of potential mining sites at the earliest.
During the video conferencing with all the Deputy Commissioners, the Chief Secretary informed them that 858 potential mining sites have been identified in the state and that all these sites are to be visited by the Sub-Divisional Appraisal Committees. He said that as of now, 542 sites have been assessed, while 316 sites are yet to be visited. Therefore, the concerned Deputy Commissioner should ensure assessment of all these remaining sites at the earliest and, after preparing the post-monsoon data, send a complete report to the Mining Department as this data has to be made available in the public domain for more transparency.
Reviewing the action taken in illegal mining cases, Mr. Janjua asked all the Deputy Commissioners to add sections of the theft and mining act in the cases of illegal mining and to take these cases to the courts to ensure a logical conclusion. He said that since April 15, a total of 447 FIRs have been filed for illegal mining, while 421 people have been arrested and 515 vehicles impounded. The Chief Secretary said that the vehicles and other material seized during raids on illegal mining should be auctioned and the proceeds of the auction should be deposited in the state exchequer. He said that the delay in demarcation in cases of illegal mining results in a delay in recovery proceedings, thus ensuring timely demarcation. He added that the penalty should be imposed on seized vehicles as per the guidelines of the NGT.
He instructed the Deputy Commissioner to take action regarding the recovery of land revenue arrears during district level meetings and said that around Rs. 111 crore of recoveries are still pending in such cases.