Jaipur: Amid reports of illegal mining at the Aravalli hills, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sat directed officials to take stern action against mining mafia in the state to curb the practice.
Chairing a high-level review meeting, Gehlot asked
officials to make amendments in the rules, if necessary, for
the purpose, according to an official release.
Special Operations Group (SOG) and police force should be
made responsible for prevention of illegal mining, he told the
officials while asking them to prepare a strategic plan to
stop illegal mining in the Aravalli area.
The chief minister also ordered to constitute a task
force headed by Chief Secretary T Srinivasan to control the
menace. Principal Secretaries - Home, Mines, Environment,
Forest, and Law, and DG-Rajasthan Police will be its members.
Noting that mining was one of the main source of revenue
for the state, Gehlot said the government would not tolerate
its exploitation anymore.
"Out of total revenue of Rs 1500 crore from mining, Rs
700 crore comes from 15 districts under Aravalli hills area,
and almost half the manpower is employed in the same area.
"Mining must be carried out only legally and checking for
illegal mining must be strengthened by concerned officials,"
he said in the meet.
Principal Secretary (Mines) Govind Sharma said a high
quality survey with an estimated cost of Rs 7 crore would be
conducted in 15 districts under Aravalli hill range to
identify illegal mining.
"Rajasthan state Remote Sensing Centre, Jodhpur will
conduct the survey and it will first of its kind in the
state," Sharma said.