Facing the heat of opposition over illegal sand mining in the state, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said the gram panchayats would now issue permission for sand quarrying under their respective jurisdiction. “From now on the work of sand quarrying will be carried out through the gram panchayats. They will take decisions about the site and the quantity to be dug. Only gram panchayats will issue permissions for it,” Chouhan said while addressing a function at Silwani in Raisen yesterday. The royalty obtained will be spent on the development works of the gram panchayat, he said.
The CM said the work of formulating the detailed rules and regulations on handing over these powers to the panchayats is underway. Meanwhile, the opposition Congress, which accused the BJP government of going soft stand against illegal sand miners and illegal mining flourishing under its rule, has slammed Chouhan, saying that his decisions are “not taken seriously” in the administration.
“The CM had announced a complete ban on mining along the riverbeds in the state. Despite it, mining continued alongside (river) Narmada in the home district of Chouhan. Mining officers were attacked on several occasions. It seems nobody take CM’s announcement seriously,” Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, Ajay Singh said. The state government in May this year imposed a complete ban on sand mining on the Narmada riverbed. It also banned the use of machines for mining activities on all rivers across the state.