Punjab CM Mann dedicates 16 public sand mining sites to people

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday dedicated 16 public mining sites to people of the state and said that sand will be available at a rate of Rs 5.50 per cubic feet.
Interacting with the media here after dedicating 16 public sand mining sites spread over seven districts, Mann said now, sand will be sold at just Rs 5.50 per cubic feet in each of these public mining sites, giving a major reprieve to the people.
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, said Mann.
Sand from public mining sites will only be sold for use in construction of non-commercial projects, he said.
The sale of sand will take place only till sunset and a government official will always be present to regulate the extraction of sand at each public mining site, informed Mann.
The CM said the State Government has built an app which will give complete information to people about public mining sites and will even facilitate online payments.
Sixteen mines have been dedicated to the people and by next month 50 more such mines will be operational across the state, he added.
A mobile app has been launched that will be linked to Google maps and will guide the person to the nearest public mine, he said.
It will ensure supply of cheap sand to the people and check their exploitation by contractors and transporters, said Mann.
Mann said it will eliminate middlemen in the sale and purchase of sand and gravel, leading to empowerment of the common man.
It is now one of the lowest rates at which sand is available to any person across the country, he claimed.
The presence of public mining sites will automatically distort prices and cause them to stabilise at a lower level, as these mines present a regular alternate avenue for the common man for purchasing cheap sand, he said.
Operation of the mines will be completely a transparent process as CCTV cameras have been installed to keep 24-hour surveillance on it, said Mann while adding, apart from this, police patrolling will be ensured on these public sites to keep a check over it.
These mining sites will be operational from 6 am in the morning to 7 pm from April 1 to September 30, and from 7 am to 5pm from October 1 to March 31.
Mann said the sand mafia that had flourished during the previous government regimes will no longer exploit the people.
He claimed that the state government has eradicated the sand mafia which had flexed its muscles in the past to ensure that people get sand at cheaper rates.
Those who have minted illegal money through the sand mines will be held accountable for their misdeeds, said Mann.
Those people, who committed the unpardonable crime with the state, will not be spared at any cost, said Mann.
Listing out “guarantees” fulfilled by the State Government so far, the CM said that within ten months of assuming the charge, the State Government has eliminated the transport mafia. Free electricity has been provided to 87 per cent households of the state since July, 2022, he said.
More than 26,000 Government jobs have been provided so far to the youth of the state and more are in pipeline, he said. (PTI)