Capt govt overlooking flagrant sand mafia activity along Beas river: Harpal Cheema
…says sand mafia operating under the protective patronage of CM’s office
…AAP serves 48-hour ultimatum on govt to stop illegal mining activity in the area
Chandigarh, July 28
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab senior leader and Leader of Opposition (LoP) Harpal Singh Cheema has blamed the Chief Minister’s Office for the devastation caused by the sand mafia on the Beas River bed, saying it had the blessings of the power that be.
In a statement issued from party headquarters on Tuesday, Harpal Singh Cheema said that the arable land in and around the areas along the Beas River, including Mukerian, Hajipur, and Talwara (Hoshiarpur) and had been destroyed by the sand mafia active in the state, which, he alleged was directly controlled by the Chief Minister’s residential office.
Cheema said that thousands of acres of land in more than 5 dozen villages had been dug up 50 to 100 feet deep, saying that more than 500 trucks, tippers, and trolleys, JCBs, et al carry out the illegal operation with impunity, day in and day out. He added that the aggrieved people and various political and other organizations of the affected villages, including the representatives of Aam Aadmi Party, had been making written and verbal appeals to the administration concerned, but in vain. He said that all this could only be managed with the help of the Chief Minister’s Office, giving a leeway to the mighty sand mafia to have a free run sans the scantest fear of the law.
The LoP warned that if the Punjab Government and Hoshiarpur district administration failed to tame the activity of the mining mafia from wreaking havoc in the area within 48 hours, besides posing a potential threat to the environment and ecology and indulging in an open ‘loot’ of public exchequer. Cheema said that the very presence of the sand had pushed the lives and lands of the people of the area in peril, the Aam Aadmi Party would wage a relentless battle to buy justice for the people of the area.