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Rajasthan minister Hemaram Chaudhary questions his own govt over "theft in gravel mining"
Rajasthan: Cabinet minister in the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan, Hemaram Chaudhary on Monday questioned his own government over the issue of sand mining and warned of "standing with the public if theft in mining is not stopped".
"People of the state are being looted in Barmer due to gravel mining. This will not be tolerated at all," he said. Talking to the media, Hemaram Choudhary said, "people are being looted in Barmer due to gravel mining. This will not be tolerated at all. I have called Mining Minister Pramod Jain Bhaya and informed him. If the loot in gravel mining is not stopped in the coming days, then I will have to stand with the people".
Gravel is being sold for more than Rs 500 a tonne, but the royalty slip is being deducted of around Rs 40.
"Gravel is being sold for more than Rs 500 a tonne. The royalty slip is being deducted of around Rs 40. The mining mafia is causing a loss of government revenue and is looting the public,, added Choudhary.
The Supreme Court in the year 2017 banned gravel mining. The ban was lifted by the Supreme court on November 12, 2021.
Choudhary said, "After the ban was lifted we had hopes of re-opening the gravel mining, but for the last 8 months illegal gravel mafia was looting the public. Not only the public but the ministers and MLAs of his government are also unhappy with this gravel mafia".
Six Congress MLAs of the district along with CM Gehlot and Mines minister Pramod Bhaya raised the issue of starting gravel mining. Three leases were started on September 1 in Barmer, yet there have been cases of people being looted.
Choudhary said that so many calls from people regarding gravel mining have made him sleepless. People say that we are being robbed for gravel mining. Then I inquired about the reality and then came to know that the public is actually being looted. The biggest problem of Barmer is that of gravel.
The minister said, "There is a genuine demand of the people in the matter of gravel mining. For me, people come first, then there is the government. I can't stand those who rob. Take the money which is royalty. Give a receipt for the amount you take. The people involved in this are looting tonnes of money and are giving royalty receipts of around Rs 40."
Chaudhary had called a meeting about a month ago regarding gravel mining. He said, "I had told the minister in what way common people are being looted. Lease of Samdari, Balotra, Janiyana, and Sindhri should be given in Barmer".
In the meeting held in the presence of the CM and the minister about a month ago regarding illegal mining, Gudamalani MLA Hemaram Chaudhary raised his voice against the starting of gravel mining and the contractors' hooliganism. (ANI)