Six earthmovers and eight trucks were seized in a joint raid by the police and mining department teams against illegal mining in Nagal zone under Pahari police station area of Bharatpur district on Monday.
However, people involved in the mining activity managed to escape, said Rai Singh Beniwal, the circle officer of Kaman police station, who led the police teams from Kaithwar, Pahari, Gopalgar and Jurahara police stations. Cases will be registered against illegal miners, who belong to neighbouring Haryana, he added.
Beniwal said they were receiving complaints of illegal mining in the Nagal zone for some time.
Pahari area in the Mewat region is infamous for illegal mining. Hindu monks in the area, along with the local residents, have been protesting against the illegal mining for a long time.
A company named Kuber Kamna has obtained the rights of collecting royalty tax for two years on the material mined from the area paying ₹42.7 crore. The company has the rights to collect royalty tax on the mined material at the rate of ₹38 per tonne. The company is entitled to set up check posts in Nagal, Ghatmika and Chhapra zones to recover the royalty tax.
However, a local sarpanch, Kathol Liyakat Ali, alleged that the contractor has set up additional check posts illegally to recover the royalty tax from trucks, which carry the mined material. He accused the contractor of collecting ₹300 extra from each truck. “If anyone protests, contractor’s goons force them to cough up the money,” he alleged.
Pahari Ratan Singh, president of the local traders’ union, said that mining department officials do not take action against the illegal practice despite several request from the union.
However, Kuber Kamna director Mangesh Singh refuted the charges. “Locals, including truck operators, are levelling false allegations. We collect tax under the government rules,” he said.