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Illegal sand mining continues along Punjab's River Sutlej despite official curbs

July 1, 2012 - Ludhiana

Officials in Ludhiana have failed to curb illegal sand mining on the banks of the River Sutlej that flows through the region.

Despite strong measures being put in place, the authorities have been unable to stop the sand mafia and their workers from rigorously pursuing illegal mining on the banks of the river.

Tractors and earth moving machinery are often seen incessantly digging out sand without supervision.

But the officials claim that they are doing their best to check the crime.

"We have controlled the illegal sand mining to a great extent, many challans (penalty tickets) have been slapped. Over a period of two months many tickets have been cut.

They even reject allegations of sand mining taking place on the banks of the River Sutlej.

"No, it is not taking place on our side of the river. Senior police officials have been watching the crime very closely; there are daily checking and patrols. We have got mining banned at night by taking special permission from the district commissioner," said M.S Khanna, a Ludhiana mining officer.

In a recent raid at a quarry on June 9, officials seized over 50 trucks and machines.

Meanwhile, the state's mining department is expected to get a police force to help stop illegal sand mining.


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