HP High Court take notice of illegal mining reports, warns DGP and officials of stern action
SHIMLA- On September 19, Himachal Watcher had published a report on illegal mining, illegal dumping, and illegal tree felling being carried out in vicinity of Shimla city encouraged by unwillingness of forest and mining officer to act despite complaints from locals. Likewise, reports of unlawful mining activities in other regions of Himachal Pradesh were regularly appearing in newspapers, especially in ‘The Tribune’ for past few months.
Finally, HP High Court took serious note of these reports and a bench comprising of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Sandeep Sharma warned concerned officials of stern action against them including the director general of police (DGP) if they did not act to curb illegal mining in their respective regions.
The court has scheduled next hearing on Sept 29 for which the state geologist was also directed to remain present in person before the court.
Earlier, SDM, Palampur had received complaints from the residents of Sulaha area regarding illegal mining being carried out unchecked in Neugal River near Paror at Palampur. It has caused damage to local paths, water channels, road and cremation ground. Along with large-scale environmental degradation, illegal mining activity had also caused loss to the state exchequer as the mining material was being lifted without paying royalty to the state government.
It is noticeable that business of illegal quarrying stone is highly profitable, and is being carried out under patronage of MLAs and influential people. Immediate transfer of ASP Baddi Gaurav Singh after the officer challaned a tipper belonging to Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudary’s wife caught illegally carrying illegally mined quarry material had also made headlines.
Officials are either bribed or are transferred if they can’t be bribed. Honest officials are bound by chains of political pressure because politicians are running most of the mining mafia business in the state, which is not only causing environmental damage, but is also looting state government of revenue it can generate otherwise.