Mining mafia rules the roost in Ropar district
Illegal mining has been continuing nonstop in Ropar district despite a hue and cry by the public here. The engrossment of huge money, settled interests of a section of local people and political patronage proved stronger than any measure taken up by district administration to check it.
Political parties can be seen trading allegations on the matter, but many from major parties, including the BJP, Congress and the SAD, have share in the illegal trade. Madan Mohan Mittal, Mining Minister, belongs to this district and he represents the Anandpur Sahib Assembly constituency.
The district has 232 crushers, many of which are operational without any approval. According to rough calculation, at least 50 truckloads of material is supplied by each of these every day. The supply is mostly local, but its volume is much more than what is supposed to be extracted from six operational quarries at Kiratpur, Algran, Surewal, Bhalan, Palasi and Dayapur villages. “Goonda” tax is also a reality in the district.
RTI activist Dinesh Chadha who often raises voice against illegal mining and “goonda” tax said legal mining being conducted in a small portion of the district had proved to be a mask for the illegal business. The volume of sand and pebble extracted from here was many times more than what the contractors were allowed to quarry, he said.