Punjab chief secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua on Friday directed all the deputy commissioners (DCs) to complete the district survey reports of potential mining sites at the earliest.
During the video conferencing with all the DCs, the chief secretary said that 858 potential mining sites have been identified in the state and all these sites are to be visited by the sub-divisional appraisal committees. He said that as of now, 542 sites have been assessed, while 316 sites are yet to be visited. Therefore, the DC concerned should ensure assessment of all these remaining sites at the earliest, and after preparing the post-monsoon data, send a complete report to the mining department as this data has to be made available in the public domain for more transparency.
Reviewing the action taken in illegal mining cases, Janjua asked all the deputy commissioners to add sections of the theft and the Mining Act in the cases of illegal mining and to take these cases to the courts to ensure a logical conclusion. He said that since April 15, a total of 447 FIRs have been filed in illegal mining, while 421 persons have been arrested and 515 vehicles impounded.
The chief secretary said that the vehicles and other material seized during raids on illegal mining should be auctioned and receipts of the auction should be deposited in the state exchequer.
He instructed the DCs to take action regarding the recovery of land revenue arrears during district-level meetings and said that around ₹111 crore recoveries are still pending in such cases.
Similarly, during the review of the water conservation projects in the districts, the chief secretary directed all the deputy commissioners to accord sanctions for the water conservation projects at the earliest, especially to the groundwater recharge schemes. He also asked to furnish project-specific reports on drainage projects, saying that only after these reports, payment shall be made to the contractor concerned.
The chief secretary strictly instructed them to ensure the stoppage of pollutants in rivers and canals of the state. “Sources of pollution in rivers and canals such as domestic waste, municipal sewer, dairy waste, STP wastewater, industrial waste, etc. should not be allowed to enter rivers and canals at any cost,” he added.
During the review of canal water theft cases, the chief secretary told them to register FIRs and take further action in such cases.