There is no organised illegal mining activity in Haryana but only stray incidents which are being dealt strictly as per law, the state government Tuesday informed the Vidhan Sabha even as Opposition questioned the claim citing the number of vehicles involved in such activities seized in last three years.
The House, on the second day of the ongoing Assembly session, saw the Opposition Congress and INLD attacking the BJP-JJP alliance government on the issue citing the death of Tauru DSP Surender Singh, who was mowed down by a dumper truck in Nuh on July 19 when he had gone to conduct raids against illegal stone mining.
Replying to a calling attention motion of Opposition MLAs, including INLD’s Abhay Chautala and Congress’ B B Batra, on illegal mining and death of Tauru DSP, Cabinet Minister Mool Chand Sharma said, “Haryana government is working on zero tolerance policy against illegal mining. It is factually wrong to say that any mining mafia is thriving in the state.”
“There is no organised illegal mining activity in the state, but only stray incidents of illegal mining are being reported which are being dealt with strictly as per law,” the Mining Minister said.
Sharma also informed the House that 4,121 vehicles involved in illegal mining have been seized and over Rs 60 crore recovered as penalties from August 2019 to June 2022 in Gurugram, Nuh, Faridabad, Yamunanagar and Mahendergarh districts.
In Haryana as a whole, Sharma said in last eight hears, total 4,664 cases related to illegal mining have been registered, 6,091 accused arrested, and 4,653 vehicles seized.
As far as cases related to attack on police officials while on duty goes, 79 cases were registered, 227 accused were arrested, 60 police personnel were injured while one died between 2019 to July 2022. Sharma said suitable amendments will be brought in existing rules to make strict provisions to curb occurrence of illegal mining in the state.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said mining is closed in Mewat area, but some Opposition legislators had requested that crushers be run for those who come with goods from Rajasthan. He said when the records and physical stock in their papers was checked, discrepancies were found.
Challans are also being issued to overloaded vehicles coming from Rajasthan, he said.
Khattar said during the tenure of the present state government, the revenue from mining has been Rs 4,660 crore in seven years from 2015-16 to 2021-22. Whereas during the tenure of the previous government from the year 2005 to 2014, only Rs 1,268 crore revenue was generated, he added.
INLD’s Abhay Chautala, however, claimed the government was in slumber. “On one hand, you say that there are only stray incidents of illegal mining but at the same time you are saying 4,121 vehicles were seized in past three years,” he said
Chautala said, “Prior to the Nuh incident, 21 such incidents occurred in the recent past. Attempts were made to crush two SDMs. A team of irrigation department officials was attacked when they had gone to stop illegal mining in Jind on December 10, 2020. Two police personnel were injured in an attack that took place when they had gone to stop illegal mining in Faridabad on February 13, 2021.”
Batra said there is ban on mining in Aravallis “ but illegal mining is going on with impunity”. “Aravallis are spread in 10,000 hectares but only 55 officials have been deployed to check the illegal mining in the area,” Batra added.
Joining the issue, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda said so far, the government has talked about investigation in many cases including illegal mining to various scams including registry, liquor, but till date no report of investigation has come out.
“In big scams, the ‘big-fat crocodiles’ are saved by merely acting on small fish. In this government, SIT does not mean Special Investigation Team but has become Sitting Investigation on Table,” he said.
Speaking on the illegal mining, Hooda said he had visited Dadam on January 1 where five labourers had died in illegal mining incident.
“It was clearly seen that the mafia had carried out illegal mining with complete fearlessness. The government had assured a probe by the SIT, but the report has not come out till date. This shows the intention of the government,” Hooda said.
Earlier, Khattar said a SIT has been constituted to probe the death of Tauru DSP.