Panchayats in Himachal to check illegal and unscientific mining

mining.jpgThe State Government would consider association of panchayati raj institutions in checking the unscientific and illegal mining on the river beds of the state, mining guards to be provided uniforms and more officers to be declared as authorized officers to carry raids on river beds. This was revealed by Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister while presiding over the high level meeting convened to discuss the modes to be adopted to check the illegal mining in the river beds of the state here today.

He said that his government would be considering associating the gram panchayats in regulating and checking the mining activities besides issuance of the permits for manual domestic mining in the areas declared open. He said that modalities would be chalked out to empower the panchayats to take up new assignment and contribute towards the environment of their areas. He said that the traditional rights of the stake holders of the area would be upheld and permitted to carry mining in the specified areas for their domestic consumption. He asked the Principal Secretaries of Industries, Irrigation and Public Health and Secretary Rural Development to complete the modalities and submit the report to the government for further necessary action at its end.

Singh said that the mining department would be strengthened and more trained manpower, uniformed mining guards deployed to check, raid and exercise their authority to fine the defaulters carrying unscientific and illegal mining. He said that besides Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of the concerned districts, the Station House Officer of the local police stations, Junior Engineers and other related to the mining activities would also be declared as authorized officers to carry raid and take action as per the legal provisions against the people carrying mining contrary to the government instructions. He said that a control room would be set up at the state headquarters to monitor the mining activities which would be required to be fed by the field functionaries with reports of their respective areas. He directed the authorities to erect sign boards declaring the portion of the river bed open or closed for mining with necessary mining instructions.

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  1. says: Tribune

    Mining in Binwa khad banned
    Threat to ancient Shiva temple at Baijnath
    Ravinder Sood

    Palampur, May 2
    The administration at Baijnath today banned mining in the Binwa khad within the 1 km radius of the ancient Shiva temple situated on its left bank. Unscientific mining and quarrying in the river had endangered the temple. All lease permits for the extraction of stones and sand have been cancelled. Mule owners who were earlier allowed extract sand and bajari had also been barred from entering the khad.

    Baijnath SDM Sandeep Kumar issued these orders today. These steps have been initiated after a news item appeared in The Tribune a few days back with the heading ” Mining threatens ancient Baijnath temple.” Thereafter the administration swung into action and initiated stringent measures to enforce the ban imposed by the HP High Court effectively on the extraction of sand, stones and bajari from the khad.

    Official sources told The Tribune Chief Minister Virbhadara Singh was concerned about the safety 1,000-year-old Shiva temple situated at Baijnath which attracted thousands of tourists every year. The Tourism Department had also reportedly expressed concern over the safety of the temple in a letter to the government.

    Official sources confirmed that these steps had been initiated to save the historic Shiva temple as the reckless mining in the khad had led to cracks in its retaining walls.

    The SDM, who is also the administrator of the temple, said heavy penalties would be imposed on the defaulters. The mining inspector had also been asked to implement the ban strictly.

    The temple is under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India. It has spent lakhs of rupees on the maintenance and development of the surrounding area of the temple in the past 10 years.

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