Amarinder should continue his ‘air raids’ against sand mafia

Chandigarh, March 6: After  the writ of his government seemed to have ceased to run, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today chanced upon the silver lining. It was while flying from Chandigarh (helipad 500 meters from his official residence) to Kartarpur near Jalandhar that he had first-hand experience from his helicopter as to how illegal sand mining is going on in the state without any fear (rather under patronage) of his government.

According to an official release, Capt Amarinder  Singh spotted illegal mining activity being carried out on the Sutlej river bed while flying over the area in a chopper on way to Kartarpur. Clearly, it is by chance that he came to know that his orders are not taken seriously down the line.

Here is how the writ of his government has ceased to run. He addressed a meeting of the district civil and police officials on February 28 after which the official release stated : “Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ordered the DCs and SSPs to crack down in full force to put an end to all illegal mining and the so-called ‘goonda tax’, which he said must be stopped with ‘full firmness and strict action.’ Addressing a meeting of the Deputy Commissioners and Senior Superintendents of Police of the various districts here, the Chief Minister issued strict instructions to the officials not to entertain any intervention or recommendation (sifarish) while taking action against illegal mining or goonda tax, but to stringently follow the rules. The Chief Minister instructed the officials to list out all legal contractors, with both police and civic administration, and ensure that legal mining operations are conducted as per the rules and regulations. Any complicity or involvement on the part of the police or administrative personnel in such activity will not be tolerated, he warned, making the SSPs directly responsible for illegal mining.”

The important part of the release was that he made the SSP directly responsible for illegal mining. His ‘air raid’ today confirms the impression that the orders of the state government are not taken seriously otherwise, the illegal sand mining along the Satluj river would have stopped the very next day. The enormity of the illegal mining is evident again from today’s press release that claimed the  Nawanshahr district and police administration seized 21 Poclain machines, 5 JCBs along with 30 Tippers (Trucks) and a tractor trolley from village Malikpur.

 He today reiterated that no laxity or complicity in the matter would be tolerated. He had earlier made the district police chiefs accountable.

Here is the government that promised to the people to put an end to illegal sand mining that had been going on under the Akali Dal government. The situation has deteriorated under the Amarinder government to the extent that this government seems to have suffered a paralytic stroke. It is the Congress MLA and other party leaders who are making quick money from illegal sand mining. These sand mines are gold mines for them.

He should stir out more occasionally  to know the situation on the ground. He only has to be air borne without getting  held up for long in the traffic jams on the roads.

He has to give a strong signal that his government has not turned non-functional and restore at least its normal functioning.


Jagtar Singh


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