Bhopal: Congress General Secretary and former chief minister Digvijay Singh has alleged that contractors and officials are engaged in illegal mining of sand under the patronage of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Singh told reporters on Tuesday night that unauthorised mining of sand is going on from the Narmada River said to be the lifeline of the state and from other rivers. No action has been initiated as they are getting protection from higher authorities. Singh said the sharp increase of number of dumpers in Hoshangabad and its neighbouring Sehore districts within a span of few years was the ample proof of such unauthorised sand mining.
He alleged that the people, who raise voice against such crime, are being suppressed and such illegal miners misbehaved with a journalist who came to cover such illegal act recently and no action was taken against the accused. “Even officials are paying price if they raise the issue and three officials also lost their lives for opposing illegal minings. The Congress will take up the issue on national level,” the former chief minister said. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Gram Uday se Bharat Uday’ programme, the senior Congress leader said that the PM was giving such slogans but the situation is just opposite in the villages where the panchayat’s rights are being taken away. Earlier, the rights of mines were provided to panchayats but not it was allotted to contractors, Singh pointed out.