Hp

No demarcation at Punjab-Himachal Pradesh border, mining mafia escapes unscathed: The Tribune India


Tribune press service

Arun Sharma

Ropar, May 6

The authorities have been able to control illegal mining in the district to some extent, but the mafia that digs the bed of the Swan River in the border areas of Himachal are unscathed. Reason: the border between the two states is not delimited correctly.

Helpless, officials say

Mine officials admit they are powerless to take action against violators despite arresting them on the spot and seizing mining machinery and equipment illegally mined from the bed of the Siwan River.

Mining officials admit they are powerless to take action against offenders despite arresting them on the spot and seizing mining machinery and equipment illegally extracted from the riverbed. This has happened three times in the past fortnight.

Navpreet Singh, Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO), Nangal, said: “We recently found several semi-trailers loaded with sand in the Swan River near the villages of Bainspur and Daghaur in Punjab, bordering Bathri village of HP. As the drivers fled, an unidentified person claimed he owned the land, which he said was part of Himachal.

The Bainspur village sarpanch also claimed that the land from which the material was seized was at HP, the SDO said, adding that officials from the neighboring state had not visited the scene. Mining is prohibited here.

A similar situation can be seen in the areas adjoining the villages of Bhangal, Bainspur, Daghaur, Sehjowal and Surewal of Punjab, from where the Swan River passes and shares the border with Santokhgarh and Bathri of HP.

On April 19, a portable screening plant, a poclaine and a generator were seized by the Punjab police. A patwari was called to the scene. As the state border was not demarcated, the machinery was handed over to Himachal cops, the SDO said.

Vikas Sharma, tehsildar, Nangal, said: “The boundary is demarcated in areas whenever a problem is raised by the authorities. Appropriate measures will also be taken in this case.

#illegal mining