JAIPUR: A massive crackdown has been launched by the district administration against illegal smuggling of minor minerals following widespread furore over rising influence of mining mafia in Jajpur.
The administration was under fire for failing to rein in the mafia who brazenly operated in the district after reports were published in this paper on February 7 and 8 exposing rampant smuggling of minor minerals in Jajpur. On Sunday night, Jajpur Town Regional Transport Officer (RTO) was crushed to death by a truck on National Highway-215 while inspecting vehicles carrying smuggled minerals near Nuapada Chowk, raising suspicion about the role of mining mafia behind the incident.
On Tuesday afternoon, Jajpur Tehsildar was issued death threats by two sand mafia who also forcibly took away two seized trucks. Following public outcry over these two incidents, Jajpur Collector Ranjan Kumar Das and SP Charan Singh Meena have launched a drive against illegal mining in the district. On Thursday, the Collector was found carrying out surprise checking of vehicles plying on NH-5 at Kuakhia. The SP was also seen inspecting vehicles at Rathia within Dharmasala police limits.
The surprise checking by the SP has put officials of various police stations on their toes. Police teams are targeting trucks, dumpers and Hyva carrying minor minerals like morum, laterite and black stones, chips and sand in areas under Dharmasala, Darpan, Vyas Nagar and Jajpur tehsils. Collector Das said the drive is aimed at checking illegal transportation of minor minerals and violations committed under the Motor Vehicle Act. “We are conducting a special drive against violators of the motor vehicle rules for the last two days. Stringent action is being taken against those found violating the rules,” he said.
Apart from registering cases, fines are also being imposed on the violators besides sending proposals for cancellation of their driving licence, Das said and added that the drive would continue in the coming days.
Sources said fines to the tune of `30,000 have been collected from vehicles carrying goods in excess of its capacity in the last two days. Besides, eight trucks and two tractors carrying minor minerals without valid papers have also been seized.