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Four-member panel formed for in-depth examination of mining activities in Jammu

·2-min read

Jammu, May 4 (PTI) Amid a raging controversy following allegations by a senior BJP leader over mining activities, the Jammu and Kashmir administration constituted a four-member committee on Tuesday for an in-depth examination into the matter and asked it to suggest measures to curb malpractices.

In an order issued by the department of mining, Commissioner Secretary Manoj Kumar Dwivedi said a sanction has been accorded to the constitution of a four-member committee for an in-depth examination of alleged illegal mining activities and operations of the stone-crusher units near the Tawi river in violation of court directions.

The committee would be headed by Director, Geology and Mining, O P Bhagat with Director, Finance, Industries and Commerce with the additional charge of the mining department R C Kotwal, In-charge Deputy Director, Geology and Mining, Raj Kumar and Assistant Mining Engineer Romesh Gandotra as members, the order said.

It said the terms and reference of the committee include examining the operation of crusher units near the Tawi river since 2018, looking into the measures taken to curb illegal mining in the river in compliance of a high court order and suggesting measures to curb all malpractices with respect to mining and processing of river bed material.

The committee was also asked to suggest measures for allowing regulated mining and disposal of river bed material to prevent flash flood incidents, examine the allegations made and the representations received about the high-handedness of the department.

'The committee shall be serviced by the Directorate of Geology and Mining Department, Jammu and Kashmir and submit its report within a week's time,' the order said.

On Monday, Jammu and Kashmir BJP secretary Vikram Randhawa, who is the president of the Stone Crusher Owners' Association, levelled serious allegations of corruption against the district mining officer and Union minister Jitendra Singh's office in Jammu over the issue of mining policy and also threatened to immolate himself.

The party's disciplinary committee served Randhawa a show-cause notice, hours after he went public against Singh. PTI TAS AB RC