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Illegal mining: Punjab to e-auction panchayat land

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

To increase the income of panchayats and bring to an end to illegal mining, Punjab government would go in for the open bidding of mining at the suitable panchayat lands in order to increase the income of the panchayats.

The rural development and panchayat department has decided in favour of the initiative to put an end to the illegal mining on the Panchayat lands.

Disclosing this at a Press conference, rural development and panchayat, Water Supply and Sanitation minister, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said that 3,000 acres of Panchayat land on the banks of rivers and suitable for mining has been identified and it’s e-auction would yield an income of Rs 100 Crore.

The minister while mentioning another important project of the panchayat department said that in order to permanently end the problem of disposing dead animals (Hadda Rori) in the villages, the government proposes to establish three plants on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode for disposing off in a scientific way the carcasses of the dead animals.

The plants would be coming up at Patiala, Amritsar and Ludhiana as pilot projects regarding which the necessary action is underway. This would lead to an income of Rs 5,000 from every dead animal after processing while putting a stop to the menace of stray dogs.

Listing another project, the minister further said that the department would encourage the planting of saplings besides promoting the concept of agro-forestry so as to augument the income of the panchayats after proper utilisation of the panchayat land in the semi-hilly and the kandi areas.

Under the scheme, the department has identified 1 lakh acre area out of which in the first year 35,000 acre area would be brought under use with 50 lakh saplings under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) being planted in the 25,000 acre area.

The saplings pertaining to Mango, Jamun, Dek, Amla, Guava, Mulberry, Arjan, Tahli, Kikar, Khed and Neem would be planted on the basis of 200 per acre. Apart from this, it is also proposed to give 10,000 acres of land on long lease to make its optimum use for agro-forestry and other allied agricultural occupations such as fish farming and bee keeping. This would yield Rs 10 Crore income to the panchayats, he said.

Bajwa further said that the Panchayat fund window e-panchayat has also been started to bring transparency and eradicate corruption in the department. Till now, 75 per cent accounts of zila parishad and panchayat samities have been made public on the departmental website.