Kathua, Apr 29: A team of the Geology and Mining department, led by District Mineral Officer Kathua, Rajinder Singh Rana, visited several allotted mining sites of Hiranagar tehsil, here today.
During the visit, 4 excavators and 6 dumpers involved in illegal mining at Sukhu Chak Katal outside the area of allotted mining permits were seized from the spot and immediately handed over to a police party led by SI Shubam Mahajan and SI Ram Paul.
As per the measurement, the company had illegally excavated 50,536 MTs of ordinary earth from the area beyond limits of allotted mining sites for filling work of the express highway by using heavy excavators and dumpers hired from local people.
Reportedly, two Short Term Permits (STPs) for lifting ordinary earth at Katal were issued to M/S Vishwa Samundra Company some days ago by the mining department but the company, without paying royalty, “engaged another agency for lifting soil/ordinary earth from the allotted sites.” The DMO informed that the company has also excavated over 20,000 MT of ordinary earth from allotted mining permits at Sukhu Chak without paying royalty and in violation of rules and norms of Geology and Mining department.
District Mineral Officer informed that the action has been taken as per the MM(DR) Act of 1957 and SRO-105 of 2016 wherein powers have been delegated to officers for controlling illegal transportation of mineral and illegal mining activities.