Chandigarh, February 28:

Punjab Mining and Geology Minister S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra, on Wednesday, dedicated 12 more public mining sites (PMS) to ensure the availability of sand at affordable prices, raising the count of public mining sites to 72 across the state. Following the inauguration of the public mining site in ADB Bela Tajowal of Tehsil Balachaur (SBS Nagar), the Cabinet Minister stated that Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Singh Mann-led government had already inaugurated 60 public mining sites and 38 commercial mining sites clusters, providing sand to the public at Rs.5.50/cft. The Punjab government has set a target to open a total of 150 public mining sites and 100 commercial mining sites soon, he added. While the Cabinet Minister inaugurated three public mining sites in Dugri/Niara, Khoja/Niara, and ADB Bela Tajowal in district SBS Nagar, six public mining sites in Akkuwala, Changli Jadid, Chugatewala-2, Mamdot Uttar, Nazamwala 1, 2 & 3 and Gillanwala in district Ferozepur and one each PMS in village Kaila (district Moga), Thamuwal Rampur (Jalandhar) and Khanpur (district Amritsar) were simultaneously inaugurated by the respective MLAs and authorities.

He informed us that the total extracted quantity to date is 15.91 LMT out of the total capacity of 47.65 LMT from 72 public mining sites. Similarly, 38 commercial mining site clusters have a planned extraction quantity of 136 LMT, with 17 LMT of sand and gravel already extracted. Over 151 LMT of sand and gravel is still available on both PMS and CMS sites, he added. Chetan Singh Jouramajra said that public mining sites allow the public to excavate and sell sand on their own, contributing to increased supply and subsequently reducing market rates. Divulging the details of the measures taken to check the illegal mining, the Mining and Geology Minister said, “We are taking strict action against illegal mining activities and so far, 945 FIRs have been lodged from April 2022 to Jan 2024 as per the provisions of mining Act and rules in the state.”