District Magistrate, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary today reviewed the plan for crackdown on illegal mining, stringent legal action and regulation of approved scientific plan put in place by Geology & Mining Department.SE Hydraulic Rafiq Khan, ACR A Q Mir, ExEn PHE Nissar Khan, ExEn I&FC Sunil Koul, ExEn PHE Nowshera O P Atri, District Mining Officer and other officers attended the meeting.The DDC taking serious note of unprofessional and unregulated mining in various river beds and directed the departments to furnish a comprehensive notification to ban illegal mining and stringent action instead of vague notification.PHE department furnished information that illegal mining carried out at Sangam, Badhoon, Palma, Darhali, Kallar and other areas has affected the sources as well as storage well of the department. Meanwhile, action initiated by Addl Deputy Commissioner, Nowshera has resulted in control of illegal extraction which is being strictly assisted by Nowshera PHE Division.It was decided to establish a central control room in the office of Deputy Commissioner to coordinate and take prompt action against persons and organisations involved in illegal extraction in notified areas. It also decided to book contractors, proprietors of stone crushers, owners of load carriers wherever illegal mining in reported in prohibited zones.
The DMO was directed to convene a meeting with all stakeholders and inform about strict penal action in case of any violation.A joint team of Revenue, Police, Rural Development, PHE, Irrigation and mining departments will conduct test inspections to book the culprits in view of reports of extraction done beyond the limit of 3 meters and in prohibited areas.It was also decided to launch a public awareness campaign so that general public can act as whistleblower in case of any illegal mining noticed in prohibited areas like flood embankment, 50 Metres from periphery road, 500 Mtr upstream/downstream of bridges and water reservoirs / dugwells etc, 20 Mtr upstream/downstream of water works and head works, 10 Mtr from flood embankment. A public helpline will be established for prompt reporting.Department of Irrigation and Flood control has been directed to seize the vehicles engaged in illegal mining and persons frequently involved in such cases may be booked under the stringent Public Safety Act in view of serious environmental degradation and safety hazards created.