The Voice of Chandigarh News | Photo By T S Bedi

The Chairman of the cabinet sub-committee on mining and the Local Government Minister, Punjab, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu  visited the crusher site of village dhamian near hajipur T-Point in Mukerian. The minister said that he has come to visit the site  in his capacity as the Chairman of the committee formed by the Chief Minister to frame a policy on mining, so as to have a first hand knowledge of the ground realities and making the crushers, which come in handy in making sand and gravel by crushing stones, part of the policy. After visiting the agricultural land near the village which has rocky mountains, Mr. Sidhu said that if sand and gravel is mined from these dunes by using crushers then it would result in the twin benefit of these dunes being leveled and becoming cultivable besides increase in the income of the government.

Mr. Sidhu further divulged that these rocky dunes have immense potential. Adding more, he said that as per the study of the Union Government, 30 feet rocky dunes in 3 square kilometer area can fulfill the demand of whole Punjab for 1 year and the 50 square kilometer area can fulfill the demand upto next 150 years. Disclosing further, he said that out of 10 feet dunes in the 1 square kilometer area a total of 32 lakh tonnes and from 30 feet dunes a total of 1 crore tonnes of sand and gravel can be mined. He also elaborated that 1000 crushers can approximately be installed here from which the state can benefit to the tune of Rs. 1500 crore annually.

Interacting with the media-persons on the occasion, Mr. Sidhu said that after watching the Telangana model, he is supremely confident that mining through the rivers can yield annually Rs. 4000 crore for Punjab. He further divulged that Telangana has lone river Godavari which is 350 kilometers long and the government of that state has set a target of Rs. 1300-1400 crore from mining during this year. Adding more, he said that Telangana reached an income of Rs. 750 crore from Rs. 10 crore in a span of 4 years and during the first 11 days of the present year the Government of Telangana has earned Rs. 41 crore. The minister also added that the 3 rivers in Punjab are 1150 kilometers long which is 3 times more than Telangana and furthermore the fact that rivers of Punjab originate from the Himalayas makes the quality of its sand excellent and besides this, the increased capacity of the rivers of Punjab can yield Rs. 4000 crore through mining from state’s rivers. The previous government earned only Rs. 40 crore annually leading to a huge loss to the state exchequer.

The cabinet sub-committee on mining would hold a meeting in 2 days time and then hand over its complete report to the state cabinet. The report would include the comprehensive and all encompassing policy with regard to the mining of sand from the rivers and making gravel by using crushers in the rocky dunes of the kandi area. He also said that the crusher policy would be formulated on the pattern of Himachal Pradesh.

Earlier, Mr. Sidhu had a meeting with the crusher owners in Hoshiarpur and solicited suggestions from them in order to incorporate these in the report. On the occasion, Principal Secretary Mining Mr. Jaspal Singh, Director Mr. Kumar Rahul, Deputy Commissioner Mr. Vipul Ujwal, SSP Sh. J. Elanchezian, Chief Engineer Mr. Vinod Chaudhari, Advisor to Mr. Sidhu-Mr. Angad Singh Sohi were also present.

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