HP govt to take stringent measures to check illegal mining
Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government on Monday decided to initiate strict measures to check illegal mining and impose an "interim blanket ban" on the transportation of construction material like sand and grit to other states for three months.
The decision was taken in a high level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh here today to discuss steps to check illegal mining and deal with offenders with a firm hand.
"This short-term ban would help in meeting the construction material requirements within the state and a task force would be constituted in each district to check not only the illegal mining but also to suggest ways and means to stop these actives in future," Singh said, adding that the task force would comprise local administration, police forest and mining staff.
He said that stringent action would be taken against the persons involved in smuggling of construction materials outside the state and the vehicle carrying them would be confiscated.
He directed concerned officials to take up the matter regarding filing an early reply to waive off the restrictions imposed by National Green Tribunal on carrying out mining activities or extraction of sand from river banks.
The chief minister said that the `Himachal Pradesh Mineral Policy-2013` recently approved by the state government would go a long way in regulating mining activities in the state in a systematic and scientific manner and to protect the environment.
Meamwhile, Industries minister Mukesh Agnihotri said that illegal minign was a sensitive and important issue which needed to be checked at all levels.
Agnihotri said that 5,389 illegal mining and transportation cases were detected during the year 2012-13 and total fine of Rs 2.20 crore was imposed while 4,282 such cases have been detected from January 2013 to August, 2013 and the total fine recovered was Rs 2.38 crore.
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