Chandigarh/June 23: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today condemned the Congress government for its failure in preventing the menace of illegal mining and maintaining law and order in the state, even as it warned that if state government fails to implement the mining policy in letter and spirit in next few days, the SAD would ask the central government to intervene and save the environment of Punjab.
Speaking at a press conference held at the party headquarters, the SAD MP and Senior leader Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra said that the environment and people of Punjab are under a big threat as the menace of illegal mining and lawlessness has prevailed in the state. “All norms and rules for sand mining are being thrown out of the window. For instance, rules say that digging cannot go beyond the 10 feet limit as it could harm the balance of ecology. But you can see 30-40 feet deep ditches at the mining sites across Punjab,” he added. “The same callousness is being shown towards law and order by the state government as the anti-social elements are running amok with impunity” he added.
Speaking about the adverse effects of illegal mining on the environment as well as on the lives of people, the SAD leader said that it has started to take toll on everything from fertile land and bridges to people’s houses. He said that soil erosion has become a major problem besides collapsing of bridges and cracking of house walls in the areas where the illegal mining activities are rampant. “Ropar and Mohali districts are the biggest sufferers as the consequences of illegal mining are being faced by them on a large scale with incidents of bridge collapsing and house damaging have been increasing sharply,” he added. It was unfortunate that the state machinery has terribly failed to contain the menace of illegal mining; rather it has been found indulging in the cover-up exercise as the sand mafia has the patronage of the ruling party, the SAD leader said.
Giving an ultimatum to the state government for implementing the state mining policy in letter and spirit, Prof. Chandumanjra said that if the Congress government fails to suppress all ongoing illegal mining activities across the state in next few days, we will approach the union minister of environment, forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan and ask him to intervene in safeguarding the larger interests of the state as well as the people. “We truly believe in a federal structure giving more powers to the state. But the state government’s indifferent attitude towards the state’s ecology could not be ignored anymore. We will seek the central government’s help if the state government does not wake up from its slumber and act swiftly to safeguard the environment and the people of the state.
Talking about the constantly deteriorating condition of law and order in the state, the SAD leader said that when day light robberies, murders and extortions become the norm of the day, we can very well imagine the ordeal the people of the state are forced to go through. “The law and order has totally collapsed. A few days ago the miscreants took two innocent lives at a walking distance from residence of the Chief Minister of Punjab. Gangsters are openly threatening the CM, ministers and the DGP, Punjab while sitting in the jails. In such a scary atmosphere, nobody feels safe. This is a very disturbing situation. The government cannot run away from protecting the life and property of its citizen” he added.
On this occasion S. Charanjit Singh Brar, Office Secretary SAD and MLA Sanour S. Harinder Singh Chandumajra were also present among others.