KATHUA, July 19: The Geology and Mines Department team led by District Mining Officer (DMO) Rajinder Singh raided along the Ravi River on specific information early in the morning here today today.
During the raid, a Poclain (heavy chain machine) bearing the number SYQ15512086, operated by Shiv Chander Prasad Singh, and a dumper bearing the registration N0 PB35Q2359, driven by Gulshan Singh, were seized at the scene. Two other drivers and dumpers managed to flee the scene.
The machine and the dump truck have been handed over to the police station in charge of Bedian Patan and will remain in the custody of the police until the realization of the sanction by the department of geology and mines.
The Deputy Commissioner, Rahul Pandey, called on the department to redouble its efforts to curb illegal mining activities and called for tough action against offenders.
According to the officials, a heavy penalty, up to around Rs. 12.00 lakh, was imposed on the poclain and the dumper.
The DMO informed that the machines and the dumper are owned by the State of Punjab. He said the department never spares anyone for carrying out illegal mining activities anywhere in the district.
The department has in the past seized and sanctioned 11 heavy excavators and 41 vehicles involved in illegal mining in the Ravi River and adjacent sites.