Congress accuses the government of hobnobbing with sand mafia in Rajasthan
New Delhi, Nov 1: The Congress is making illegal mining in Rajasthan an issue in the forthcoming Assembly elections by saying that due to connivance with the government, mining mafia are bolstered in the state. On one hand attack on the government functionaries involved in checking illegal mining is continuing unabated while on the other hand people are forced to buy costly sand from them and the government is in slumber.
Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said that illegal mining in Chambal and Banas rivers is increasing by the day. Over Rs 12,000 crore has been looted from the people of the state. There is a consumption of 5-7 thousand trucks of sand in the state everyday but sand that was available for Rs 7000 to Rs 8000 per truck is being sold by mafias for Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per truck. Sand mafia are killing not only village headman but also police and officials belonging to the mining department.
The former chief minister said that due to the government failing to plead the matter properly and emphatically in the Supreme Court, there is a crisis of sand in the state. Around 25 lakh people have been rendered jobless due to this mostly laborers, sand truck drivers, truck owners, construction laborers and masons and some other allied workers. Construction work is completely stopped due to crisis of sand not only that all big and small works in Jaipur are affected due to this crisis. There is resentment among people and anger is prevailing due to this.
Gehlot said that the Supreme Court had made harsh comment on the government hobnobbing with the sand mafia. The court had instructed the government to give a report on damage caused by mining to environment but it failed to provide report as per the instructions of the court. Had the report been given to the court well within time some legal way out could have been given for sand mining.