Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], March 31 (ANI): The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday cleared all decks for the establishment of an Enforcement Directorate (ED) to check illegal mining in the state.
As per a statement, the ED will be headed by a senior police officer, not below the rank of a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), and will be set up in the Mining and Geology Wing of the Water Resources department.
"The ED will help in checking and stopping unauthorised movement of minor minerals within the state and at the interstate borders of Punjab, in conjunction with the officials of the Mining department and facilitate prosecution of those indulging in illegal mining under Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957," a spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office said.
It will also check that those involved in the sand and gravel business do not overcharge on the sale price ceiling prescribed in the Mining Policy.
The probe agaency will have the mandate to develop strategies, measures and methods to effectively achieve the objectives in coordination with Director Mining, Chief Engineers dealing with mining, and District Level Illegal Mining Enforcement Committees' under the Deputy Commissioners.
The ED will also register and investigate cases in coordination with XENs, SDOs, Mining Officers and it will present final reports (challans) thereof to the respective courts. Investigation of every case would be completed in a time-bound manner.
In this endeavor, districts of Mohali, Ropar, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Nawanshahr, Jalandhar, Ferozepur, Sangrur and Bathinda would be given greater attention to ensure effective legitimate mining operations. (ANI)