Illegal Sand Mining in Punjab's Dera Bassi Poses Threat to Ecology

Reported by

Damandeep Singh

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

December 23, 2017

December 23, 2017

Updated on

December 23, 2017

Location of Conflict

Dera Bassi

Mohali

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Sand Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

26295

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

10

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

Punjab

Sector

Mining

Illegal sand mining has been rampant in Mohali's Dera Bassi since 2016. A local newspaper reported how natural minerals in the form of gravels are being extracted from the area adjacent to Ghaggar river in complete legal violation. As per a SANDRP report, quarrying is banned in the state, but the demand for quarried minerals (four crore metric tonnes) remains the same. With only 15 mines remaining operational producing about 40 lakh metric tonnes of minerals and 70 per cent of the mined sand being consumed by government projects, the report concludes that the rest of the demand is being met through illegal mining. Unchecked mining activities in the region have resulted in substantial revenue losses for the state government and have disturbed the local community. Further, gravels and sand form essential mineral components of riverbeds. They have ecological value for their inbuilt filtration capacity and absorbing characteristics. Unrestrained mining has an irreversible impact on the riverbed ecology. In 2017, Deputy Commissioner Gurpreet Kaur Sapra set up flying squads to conduct surprise air raids in an attempt to catch the perpetrators. The raid proved futile, but local residents continued to reiterate that illegal mining continued. We can even show the mining officials where mining goes on even during the day. We are doubtful about the seriousness of the administration to stop illegal mining in our area. Illegal mining goes on unabated in Ghaggar river, said Dharampal Singh, a Derabassi resident in the report. The members of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) staged a protest in December 2019 against the state government. Accusing the Congress leaders of "patronising illegal sand mining trade and the mafia" in Mohali, SAD leader Sukhbir Badal pointed out how illegal mining, without necessary environmental clearances, were being carried out even in forested areas. Senior SAD leader and Dera Bassi MLA N.K. Sharma also raised concerns over how the mining mafia had uprooted trees in Dera Bassi posing a threat to the wildlife in the adjoining Chatt Zoo. Sharma further alleged that the sand mafia had dug up all of the shamlat land (village common land) in the district. A report in September 2020 noted how in spite of a ban on sand mining on riverbeds during monsoon, mining continued to take place in Ghaggar river near Kakrali village in Dera Bassi. The same report mentioned that since 2018, there have been 50 FIRs registered to deal with the problem but no one has been convicted so far.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Prevention of illegal mining

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Case Laws, Other, Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
Section 4(1): [No person shall undertake any mining operations in any area except under a mining lease granted under the Act]; Section 21(1): [Penalty for violating Section 4(1) is imprisonment for up to five years and fine up to INR 5 lakh per hectare of the area]
Punjab Minor Mineral Rules, 2013
Rule 8(1): [No mineral concession can be granted in respect of land within 60 metres of any village or national highway]; Rule 24: [Standard conditions applicable to all mining leases granted under the Mines & Minerals Act]
Deepak Kumar v. State of Haryana and Ors. (SLP (C) 19628-19629 of 2009, IA Nos. 12-13 of 2011, Supreme Court of India)
Prior environmental clearance is mandatory for mining of minor minerals such as sand, irrespective of the area of the mining lease.
Enforcement and Monitoring Guidelines for Sand Mining dated January 2020
Part 4.0: [These guidelines collate directions and orders given by various courts and stipulate the necessary requirements to comply with the same. Emphasis is placed on replenishment of sand, monitoring movement of sand mineral and regular surveillance of sand mining areas using UAVs/drones]
Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines dated 2016
Preparation of District Surgery Report, Identification of measures for conservation of mineral and protection of ecology
  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  3. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Supreme Court of India

Case Number

WP (C) No. 1342 of 2018

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

District Mining Officer and Deputy Commissioner, Government of Punjab

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Shiromani Akali Dal

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

Text Link

Reviewed By

Text Link

Updated By

Text Link

Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch
X

Support our work

Your contribution ensures continuity of this crucial project.

As a member, you will get exclusive access to special reports, policy papers and research projects undertaken by Land Conflict Watch and behind-the-scenes interactions with the writers and researchers about their work.
Join Now