Govt suspends Dir Geology & Mining for leasing mining to non-local

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Srinagar: Government Saturday suspended Director Geology and Mining Department for leasing mining to a non-local and cancelled the controversial order mining order after uproar by Opposition in Lower House on Friday.

The decision follows a day after Speaker Legislative Assembly, Kavinder Gupta ordered an enquiry as to how mining lease was issued to a Chandigarh-based miner when the government has formed a House Committee to look into SRO-105, which the Opposition had criticized in the House. 

“Director Geology and Mining department has been suspended and the controversial order has been cancelled,” Minister for Industries and Commerce, Chandra Prakash Ganga, said in the Lower House.

“The orders of May 12, 2016 of Director Geology and Mining has been cancelled with immediate effect. This has been done only for the purpose of the satisfaction of the House and keep the motto of the coalition government of honesty, integrity, public probity and transparency,” Ganga said.

“An enquiry has also been ordered to reveal facts. Strict action will be taken against the erring officials and who so ever will be found responsible will not be speared,” the minister said.

Cutting across party lines, the law makers cornered the government on the second consecutive day on Saturday in the Legislative Assembly for taking the House Committee for-granted that was constituted to look into SRO-105 that grants bidding rights for mineral excavation to non-state subjects in the state. The order was also stayed by the High Court.

However, the MLAs from the Opposition and some from the Treasury Benches were unsatisfied with the reply of the minister.

“You have revoked the order and suspended the official. But there should be a privilege motion against the minister,” Opposition NC legislator Muhammad Akbar Lone demanded. 

CPI (M) legislator MY Tarigami said the minister had full knowledge when the order was issued for granting mining lease to a non-state subject.

“You have violated the observations of the High Court, which has stayed of granting the mining lease. The High Court has issued the order of staying the mining lease order in April 2016. But the mining lease order was issued last month and the department has issued notification in newspapers in this regard and the Pollution Control Board issued NOC even after the High Court order,” he said.

“You (minister) should have taken the action against officials once the order was issued,” Tarigami told the minister. 

The Opposition members created the uproar for some time and slammed the government for issuance of the controversial order.

Minister for Rural Development Abdul Haq Khan tried to pacify the opposition members. “The minister has given the statement and you should not create hindrances in the proceedings of the House,” Khan asked the opposition members. (KNS)

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