06.02.2018

To,

 

Mr. Rana K.P Singh ji,

Hon’ble Speaker,

Punjab Vidhan Sabha

 

Subject:- Request to set up an all party Vidhan Sabha committee to look into the issue of illegal mining and “Goonda” tax in the state, causing widespread resentment amongst the people.

Dear Rana K.P Singh ji,

As you are aware, the issue of illegal mining has dominated the political spectrum of Punjab for the past many years and was a major issue during the last assembly polls. The Congress party in its election manifesto had promised to put an end to large scale illegal mining undertaken by the mafia-politician nexus during the ten years of SAD-BJP rule.

Unfortunately, instead of putting an end to illegal mining Rana Gurjeet Singh former Minister and his henchmen, hijacked the first online auction held in the month of May 2017. The said infamous mining auction rocked the state and snowballed into a major corruption scandal, forcing the Chief Minister to drop the tainted Minister, although belatedly.

Taking advantage of the Chief Minister’s soft approach on the issue of illegal mining during the last 8-10 months, mining mafia backed by politicians have again raised their head and started indulging in illegal mining across the riverbeds of the state. Virtually all print and electronic media have boldly highlighted the burning issue of illegal mining and collection of “Goonda” tax. Reports of such blatant illegal mining taking place are coming from every nook and corner of the state including Khizrabad near Mullanpur, Samrala, Ropar, Rahon, Faridkot, Ferozpore, Harike, Taran Taran,  Shahkot, Pathankot etc.

Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu Local Bodies Minister and Mr. Sunil Jakhar President PPCC, during their media interaction at Jalandhar on 4th February admitted to the menace of unchecked illegal mining in Punjab, that has been widely covered by media reports on the 5th February. The said admittance of illegal mining by the Congress Chief and a Cabinet Minister has not only vindicated the charges of opposition and the media but has created an urgency to curb this menace with an iron hand.

Today even the Chief Minister has admitted to rampant illegal mining taking place in the state and has ordered certain measures to check it but we are of the firm opinion that the bureaucracy and the police will not be able to resolve this gigantic menace.

Similarly, startling reports have emerged that a group of ruling party politicians are collecting “Goonda” tax from the contractors of new petro chemical plant worth Rs. 25,000 crore being set up in the Bathinda oil refinery, for its building material. Such a retrograde step is not only forcing the company to stop its operations but will create a fear amongst the futuristic investors willing to invest in Punjab.

We appreciate your efforts to form an all party Vidhan Sabha committee to go into the issues of farm indebtedness and suicides by farmers, that is doing a commendable job under the chairmanship of Mr. Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and MLA’s of all parties.

Therefore, we as opposition party demand setting up of an all party Vidhan Sabha committee of MLA’s, to visit all such sites where illegal mining is taking place in broadaylight by mafia backed by politicians, causing huge financial loss to the public exchequer besides sky rocketing the prices of sand and gravel in Punjab. We hope you would consider our request positively to put an end to the menace of illegal mining in public interest.

Thanking you,

Sukhpal Singh Khaira

LoP  and AAP-LIP MLA’s

 

_________________________________________________________

 A delegation under the leadership of the leader of opposition, Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Tuesday met the speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha to raise the issue of illegal mining and “Goonda” tax in the state,

Chandigarh, February 6, 2018-A delegation under the leadership of the leader of opposition, Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Tuesday met the speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha to raise the issue of illegal mining and “Goonda” tax in the state, causing widespread resentment amongst the people. The members of the delegation including Co-president of AAP and MLA Aman Arora, deputy leader of opposition Sarabjeet Kaur Manuke, MLA Kanwar Sandhu, MLA Jagdev Singh Kamalu, MLA Rupinder Kaur Ruby, MLA Master Baldev Singh, MLA Harpal Singh Cheema, MLA Jagtar Singh Hissowal, MLA Kulwant Singh Pandori and MLA Jai Kishan Rodi demanded to set up an all party Vidhan Sabha committee to look into the issue.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Khaira said that the issue of illegal mining has dominated the political spectrum of Punjab for the past many years and was a major issue during the last assembly polls. The Congress party in its election manifesto had promised to put an end to large scale illegal mining undertaken by the mafia-politician nexus during the ten years of SAD-BJP rule.

Khaira stated that unfortunately, instead of putting an end to illegal mining Rana Gurjeet Singh former Minister and his henchmen, hijacked the first online auction held in the month of May 2017. The said infamous mining auction rocked the state and snowballed into a major corruption scandal, forcing the Chief Minister to drop the tainted Minister, although belatedly.

Taking advantage of the Chief Minister’s soft approach on the issue of illegal mining during the last 8-10 months, mining mafia backed by politicians have again raised their head and started indulging in illegal mining across the riverbeds of the state. Virtually all print and electronic media have boldly highlighted the burning issue of illegal mining and collection of “Goonda” tax. Reports of such blatant illegal mining taking place are coming from every nook and corner of the state including Khizrabad near Mullanpur, Samrala, Ropar, Rahon, Faridkot, Ferozpore, Harike, Taran Taran,  Shahkot, Pathankot etc.

The LOP said that Navjot Singh Sidhu Local Bodies Minister and Sunil Jakhar President PPCC, during their media interaction at Jalandhar on 4th February admitted to the menace of unchecked illegal mining in Punjab, that has been widely covered by media reports on the 5th February. The said admittance of illegal mining by the Congress Chief and a Cabinet Minister has not only vindicated the charges of opposition and the media but has created an urgency to curb this menace with an iron hand.

Khaira said that even the Chief Minister has admitted to rampant illegal mining taking place in the state and has ordered certain measures to check it but we are of the firm opinion that the bureaucracy and the police will not be able to resolve this gigantic menace.

Similarly, startling reports have emerged that a group of ruling party politicians are collecting “Goonda” tax from the contractors of new petro chemical plant worth Rs. 25,000 crore being set up in the Bathinda oil refinery, for its building material. Such a retrograde step is not only forcing the company to stop its operations but will create a fear amongst the futuristic investors willing to invest in Punjab.

The leaders appreciated the efforts of Speaker to form an all party Vidhan Sabha committee to go into the issues of farm indebtedness and suicides by farmers, which is doing a commendable job under the chairmanship of Mr. Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and MLA’s of all parties. Therefore AAP demanded setting up of an all party Vidhan Sabha committee of MLA’s, to visit all such sites where illegal mining is taking place in broadaylight by mafia backed by politicians, causing huge financial loss to the public exchequer besides sky rocketing the prices of sand and gravel in Punjab.