CHANDIGARH: Tightening the noose around illegal miners in the state, the Punjab government's mining and geology department has registered 201 cases against 189 persons allegedly involved in illegal mining activities in the last three months from May to July.
A total 299 vehicles and machines being used for illegal mining have also been seized across the state in the past three months, Punjab Mining and Geology Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria said in an official statement here on Friday.
In the last three months, the highest number of illegal sand mining cases had been registered from Ludhiana, SBS Nagar, Hoshiarpur and Rupnagar, he said.
He said that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has already ordered stringent action against those indulging in illegal mining in the state.
Sarkaria said that vehicles used for transporting the haul mined from approved sites must have a slip of the mining department.
All the vehicles that did not have the mining department slips were being seized and legal action being taken against them, he said.
Instructing the mining department officials to strictly deal with miners and vehicle owners indulging in such illegal practice, Sarkaria said that illegal mining had led to heavy loss to the state exchequer and needed to be checked on priority.
The minister also warned that strict action would also be taken against those owners on whose land the illegal practice was being done.
He said the Punjab government was fully committed to provide sand and gravel to the people of the state at reasonable prices and the mining sites have been allocated through e-auction for this purpose.