Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday dedicated 20 more public mines in five districts to the people in the state to provide sand and gravel at affordable rates to the people, which will provide sand at affordable rates of Rs 5.50 per cubic foot pit head price.
The Chief Minister said in Sangheda village of district Moga that under the third phase of starting public mines, Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Moga, Hoshiarpur and S. B. S. Twenty new mines in the city districts became functional on Friday, due to which the number of public mines running across the state has increased to 55. He said that the state government would soon make 150 public sector mines operational across Punjab. CM Bhagwant Mann said that the state government has cut the roots of the sand mafia that flourished in the previous governments so that sand could be made available to the people at cheaper rates.
The Chief Minister said that now sand would be sold at Rs 5.50 per cubic foot at these public quarries, which would bring great relief to the people of the state. He said that digging of sand in these quarries would be allowed only by hand, while the work of digging would not be done by machines. Bhagwant Mann said that so far 5.82 lakh metric tonnes of sand have been procured from 35 public quarries of the state on behalf of the people and with the opening of 20 new mines, 18.29 lakh metric tonnes of sand would be made available to the people.
The Chief Minister said that not only would cheap sand be available from these mines, but direct and indirect employment opportunities would also be created for the youth. He said that since the inception of these mines, Rs 5 crore has been earned by the labourers in these mines. Bhagwant Mann also said that sand can be procured from these mines only for non-commercial projects.
The Chief Minister said that the sand would be sold only till sunset and a government official would always be present at every public mining site to regulate the extraction of sand. Criticizing the previous governments for creating and patronizing sand mafia in the state, he said that these people have no moral right to speak on the issue. Bhagwant Mann said that everyone knows that these leaders had direct connivance with the mafia who looted the state indiscriminately during their long misrule.
Noting that the state’s financial condition was back on track, the Chief Minister said that action had been initiated against the sand mafia, which was patronized by the leaders of the previous government, to ensure that people got sand at cheaper rates. Bhagwant Mann said, “Earlier sand was available at an expensive price while drugs were easily available in the market.” He said that the previous governments neglected the public welfare but his government was able to provide services to the people without any difficulty and the government exchequer. It is working with full dedication to stop the loot.
Expressing the government’s commitment to the all-round development of the state, the Chief Minister said that as a result of the untiring efforts of the government, Punjab was transformed from a fiscal deficit to a fiscally profitable state by taking pro-people decisions, which would restore the lost glory of the state.
He said that the State Government has taken several bold decisions to end the sand mafia so as to ensure that the people get cheap sand as this mafia used to do arbitrary things in the past. Bhagwant Mann said that his government has fulfilled the guarantee and now the sand is being sold in these public quarries for just Rs.5.50, which has brought great relief to the people.
The Chief Minister said that the previous governments were in collusion with every mafia who looted the state with both hands during their long misrule. He said that no tainted person would be allowed to collect money illegally from any source under his government. Bhagwant Mann said that his government would take every decision for the betterment and prosperity of the people of the state.
The Chief Minister said that his government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against corruption and action will be taken against anyone involved in corruption irrespective of their status. He said that if anyone is found involved in corruption, strict action will be taken against him. Bhagwant Mann said that no one would be allowed to loot public money.
Cabinet Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hair was also accompanying the Chief Minister on the occasion.
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