Mining on in GFIL land

Mining on in GFIL land

IN violation of Supreme Court orders annulling all property settlements done illegally by the Golden Forest India Limited (GFIL) management, illegal mining is being done on agricultural land owned by the company in Sanauli village, adjoining Panchkula.

Newsline has found that the piece of land, measuring approximately 80 acres, is being illegally excavated by local miners, with the court-appointed committee in the dark about the goings-on.

The apex court had passed its orders on September 15 this year.

A member of the court-appointed committee, headed by Justice R N Aggarwal (retd), said the panel is “unaware” of any illegal mining at the site. The committee is custodian of all properties owned by the GFIL.

Incidentally, though the committee has hired the services of a private security company to keep a watch on and preserve GFIL properties, even the private company has thus far failed to spot the mining activities. The excavation work, according to information, is on for almost two months now.

At the site, Newsline found 12 dumper trucks (see photo) and two JCBs engaged in the operation. The registration number of some of the vehicles in action at the site: PB 65 D 8754, HR 37 B 7227, HR 37 1320, HR 38 G 0062, PB 11H 5950, HR 61 0443, HR 68 6706, HR 01 7585, CH 22 2754T.

The drivers and workers at the site said mining operation is on for the past more than two months and on an average 70 to 80 truckloads of soil are sold daily, at the rate of Rs 500 per truck.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that illegal mining has been spotted at GFIL-owned site. Earlier, too, during the tenure of the same court committee, a local newspaper had reported about illegal mining, following which mining work was stalled for some time.

Farmers who own land adjoining the area, are strongly opposed to mining activities, which they say depreciate the value of their land.

The investors of GFIL, meanwhile, are anxious about getting back their dues as such illegal operations carry on unabated on GFIL properties. Prospective buyers, who have given bids during the recent auction of GFIL properties, are also worried about the condition or title of the properties at the time of their delivery.

When contacted by Newsline, Justice H L Randev (retd), one of the members of the court committee, admitted that the committee was not aware of any mining activity on GFIL-owned land. He said, “This is unauthorised. We have not permitted any such mining on GFIL properties.”

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