Geology & Mining Department rebuts news report claiming illegal mining in Samba District

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SAMBA, JUNE 03: Geology & Mining Department has refuted a news report appearing in a section of the press claiming illegal mining in Samba District.Officials termed the report published with photos of mining near Chichi Mata ji with 50 feet deep trenches as misleading. “There is no denying of the fact that some defaulters, during odd hours, may resort to mineral theft but such a story devoid of any facts can’t undermine the efforts and achievements of the district administration,” the officials added.Adding further, the officials said that the district administration has devised an effective mechanism with the Multi departmental task force cell at district and Tehsil levels, besides a control room with a contact number, to ensure prompt response to illegal activities in the district.“With the joint efforts of multiple departments, as many as 895 vehicles were penalized in the last two years and a penalty amounting to Rs 1.45 Crore was imposed and collected by the mining department. In addition to this, in this Financial year in the month of April, 43 vehicles were penalized and penalty amounting to the tune Rs 7,10,545 was collected besides generating revenue of Rs 22 lacs” the officials of the Department added.The officials further stated that the Police department detained around 170 vehicles involved in illegal mining in the district at different locations and recovered a penalty amounting to the tune of Rs 25 lakh.Terming the news as misleading, the department said that it projects an unfair and misleading narrative that maligns the image of the entire district administration. Such reporting undermines the significant efforts made by the administration to control and prevent illegal activities. “We request that the erroneous news item be retracted or corrected to reflect the true situation. Accurate reporting is crucial to maintain public trust and ensure that the reputation of Samba administration is not unfairly tarnished” the officials added.While acknowledging isolated incidents of mineral theft during odd hours, the department said “The district administration employs rigorous monitoring and enforcement measures to prevent such activities. Multi Departmental District Level and Tehsil Level Task Force Cells are in place and these are keeping continuous watch and taking cognisance of violations which is evident from the seizures and fines imposed by Geology and Mining Department in collaboration of civil and police administration.”

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