Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court has
expressed annoyance at the failure of the state authorities to
check illegal mining and wanted a ban on mining at Chakki Khud
in Damtal area of Kangra district.
Acting fast on the direction of the High Court to take
effective steps to check illegal mining of minerals in the
state, Himachal Pradesh government today constituted a
ten-member committee to suggest measures for the purpose.
The court also directed the Additional Chief Secretary
(Industries) to take effective steps to stop illegal mining
and the Member Secretary, HP Science and Technology Council,
to visit the spot and inspect the present status of the site.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian
Joseph and Justice Sanjay Karol had yesterday passed the order
on a petition pertaining to illegal mining in Damtal and said
affidavits of government officials revealed that about 4 lakh
metric tonnes of mineral were extracted and the government had
done nothing except compounding the offences.
The court also said that inspite of issuance of the
notification banning mining at Chakki Khud from the railway
bridge in Kangra district, the mining lease was granted and
illegal mining continued.
It was unfortunate that more than 541 cases were
challaned in a small area, which showed that the government
had completely failed in protecting its minerals, the court