Mao Sahib (Jalandhar): In a major pro-people initiative, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday announced that 150 public sand mines will be soon dedicated to people for ensuring pit head price of sand at Rs 5.50 per cubic feet.

The Chief Minister, while interacting with the media after dedicating 17 more Public mines to people here, said that so far 33 public mines have been dedicated in 14 districts and the state government will soon operationalise 150 public sand mines for the convenience of people.

He said that 16 public mines touching six districts were dedicated to people a few days back and today 17 more such mines have been dedicated which will involve eight districts. Bhagwant Mann said that till now 61580 metric ton of sand have been used by people from these public mines adding that it has also given direct and indirect employment to several youths.

The Chief Minister said that the state government has eradicated the sand mafia which had flexed its muscles in the past to ensure that people get cheap sand. Bhagwant Mann said that now the sand will be sold at just Rs.5.50 in each of these public mining sites thereby giving a major reprieve to the people. He said that only manual excavation of sand will be permitted in these public mining sites and no mechanical excavation of sand will be allowed.

The Chief Minister categorically said that no mining contractor will be allowed to operate in these public mining sites. Bhagwant Mann said that sand from public mining sites will only be sold for use in construction of non-commercial projects. He said that sale of sand will happen only till sunset and a government official will always be present to regulate the extraction of sand at each public mining site.

The Chief Minister said that the state government has built an app which will give complete information to people about public mining sites and will even facilitate online payments. He said that it will ensure supply of cheap sand to the people and check their exploitation by contractors and transporters. Bhagwant Mann said that it is now one of the lowest rates at which sand is available to any person across the country.

Slamming the Akali Dal for producing and patronising the sand mafia in the state, the Chief Minister said that that Bikram Majithia has no moral right to speak on this issue. He said that every one knows that Akalis were hand in glove with every mafia that plundered the state during their long misrule adding that the hands of those who are seen sitting on left and right of Majithia are drenched with atrocities against Punjabis. Bhagwant Mann categorically said that it is surprising that Majithia, whose party had created the whole mess for which Punjab is suffering today, is asking such questions just for hogging media limelight.

The Chief Minister said that Majithia should remember one thing that instead of indulging in nepotism like during their tenure, his government is functioning fully on stipulated rules and regulations. He said that not even a single tainted person will be allowed to mint the money illegally from any source. Bhagwant Mann quipped that these people who have been rejected by the people for their misdeeds are not able to digest that several pro-people initiatives taken by the state government due to which they are indulging in such tantrums.

The Chief Minister also announced that all the reports of SIT and Commissions that have been hanging in fire since long will be made public soon. He said that all those who have looted the people and misused their authority will not be spared. Bhagwant Mann said that everyone who has plundered the public will be exposed and brought to the book.

Replying to a query, the Chief Minister said that three crore people have elected him to serve the state. He said that as per constitution of India he is accountable to the public of state and not to any person selected by the Union government. Bhagwant Mann said that his government will take every decision aimed at well being of the people of state and prosperity of its people.

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