Sidhu: Sand mafia to be exposed soon

Jalandhar, March 12: Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said today that people running the illegal mining cartel would be exposed soon.

The minister, who is part of the three-member committee formed by the CMto curb illegal mining, said the panel could propose that the state government form a corporation and take the mining business in its own hands.

He said the committee was examining the alleged nexus of politicians and officials and would name the people found guilty in its report. Sidhu added that the report would be submitted to the CM within a month after the end of the Budget session.

“How did Poclain machines reach the legal quarries and were working round the clock without the knowledge of the law-enforcement agencies? The committee will also question the contractors who had left the quarries without completing the auction tenure,” said Sidhu.

Hinting at levying entry tax on trucks entering Punjab from Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh , Sidhu said some people were charging “goonda tax” up to Rs 4,000 per truck at various entry points.

“Around 24,000 trucks enter the state every month. By mere levying Rs 4000 on each truck can fetch good income for the state government every month,” said Sidhu.

Meanwhile, he said only 90,000 of the 4 lakh houses in Ludhiana had paid property tax till date.

“After an air survey of the city, the residential properties having tax liability were found to be around 4 lakh,” said Sidhu, adding that a similar survey would be done in other cities. Batting for the appointment of Congress MLA Pargat Singh as the Sports Minister, Sidhu said players needed encouragement from a reputed name like the ex-captain of the men’s hockey team.

Source Tribune India