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Punjab CM Asks Sub-Committee on Mining to Expedite Report 

Chandigarh, Apr 4 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has directed a panel formed to examine issues related to mining to expedite its report on the much-needed reforms in the sector even as he directed his officers to take urgent steps to ensure all legal mines functioned to full capacity in order to control the escalating price of sand.

The chief minister issued the orders during a meeting with officials of the departments of mining and water resources, as well as the three-member sub-committee set up last month to review the mining policy, said an official release.

Besides the sub-committee members, Local Government Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, senior officials of the chief minister’s office and the concerned departments were present at the meeting.

Taking note of reports regarding spiralling prices of sand in the state following the government’s crackdown on illegal mining, the chief minister asked the water resources department to ensure timely dredging of about 50 lakh tonnes of sand from the rivers.

Instructing members of the cabinet sub-committee to expedite the process of review of the mining policy, Singh said the state could not afford delay in this regard and he was personally keen to streamline the business further so that the genuine bidders and contractors do not suffer.

He did not want the genuine contractors to be further harassed in any way, the chief minister added.

Reiterating his government’s resolve to completely wipe out the illegal mining mafia from the state, he stressed on the need to restructure and simplify the processes and systems, to bring about total transparency in the business.

The chief minister also directed the police and district administration in the mining areas to keep a close watch on the mining activities and crack down heavily on all illegal goings-on in their respective districts.

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