Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday said the state government has eradicated the sand mafia which had flexed its muscles in the past to ensure that people get cheap sand.
Speaking to reporters after dedicating 17 more public mines in Jalandhar, the CM said so far 33 public mines have been dedicated in 14 districts and the state government will soon operationalise 150 public sand mines for the convenience of people.
Mann said now, the sand will be sold at just Rs 5.50 in each of these public mining sites thereby giving a major reprieve to the people. He said only manual excavation of sand will be permitted in these public mining sites and no mechanical excavation of sand will be allowed.
He said no mining contractor will be allowed to operate in these public mining sites. Mann said sand from public mining sites will only be sold for use in construction of non-commercial projects.
He said sale of sand will happen only till sunset and a government official will always be present to regulate the extraction of sand at each public mining site.
The Chief Minister said that the state government has built an app which will give complete information to people about public mining sites and will even facilitate online payments. He said that it will ensure supply of cheap sand to the people and check their exploitation by contractors and transporters. Mann said it is now one of the lowest rates at which sand is available to any person across the country.
Slamming the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) for producing and patronising the sand mafia in the state, the Chief Minister said Akalis were hand in glove with every mafia that plundered the state during their long misrule.
The CM also announced that all the reports of SIT and Commissions that have been hanging in fire for a long time will be made public soon. He said that all those who have looted the people and misused their authority will not be spared. Bhagwant Mann said that everyone who has plundered the public will be exposed and brought to the book.
Replying to a query, the CM said that three crore people have elected him to serve the state. He said that as per the Constitution, he is accountable to the public of state and not to any person selected by the Union government. Mann said that his government will take every decision aimed at the well-being of the people of state and prosperity of its people.
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