The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the establishment of the Enforcement Directorate to investigate illegal mining in Punjab.
An official statement said that the Enforcement Directorate would be headed by a senior police officer not below the rank of DIG, who would be set up in the Mining and Geology wing of the Department of Water Resources. “This will help in increasing the revenue of the state by stopping the menace of illegal mining. The ED, along with the officials of the Mining Department, will assist in checking and preventing unauthorized movement of minor minerals within the state and on inter-state borders. It will also facilitate prosecution of those involved in illegal mining under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here.
"Working closely with the mining wing, the ED will also investigate whether people involved in the sand and gravel business do not overcharge to the extent of the sale price set in the mining policy," he said.
The cabinet has also approved a scheme under which women in Punjab get free travel in all government buses within the state from 1 April.
“Under the scheme, women residents can get the benefit of free bus travel in state-owned buses, including PEPSU Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), Punjab Roadways Buses (PUNBUS) and city bus services operated by local bodies. This statement is not applicable for government owned AC buses, Volvo buses etc.
With a cut-off date of December 31, 2013, to provide repayment to defaulting allottees of all urban development authorities, the cabinet approved the Punjab Urban Development Authority Amnesty Scheme-2021 for recovery of outstanding installments.
The Cabinet approved the running of Government Animal Ponds in the districts in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode to streamline its functioning and effectively overcome the menace of stray animals.