Mining issue: BJP MLAs walk out of Rajasthan Assembly

Mining issue: BJP MLAs walk out of Rajasthan Assembly

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The issue of illegal mining and transport of 'bajri' rocked the Rajasthan Assembly on Tuesday as BJP legislators stormed the Well and later walked out of the House alleging the government was not ready to reply on the matter.

During the Question Hour, Mines Minister Pramod Jain informed the House that 'bajri' lease deeds are issued for one to four hectares privately-owned land and currently 10 lease deeds are sanctioned for 'bajri' mining and 216 letters of intent have been issued.

He said the state government is working to formulate a policy for M-Sand (manufactured sand) and its long-term use as an alternative to bajri in Rajasthan.

The minister said, "The government is working on swift disposal of river sand related cases pending before the apex court and senior advocates will be appointed for effective advocacy."

He added that currently, 97 bajri mining lease deeds are active in Rajasthan.

Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore questioned if the state government conducted a scientific replenishment study before issuing bajri lease deeds as directed by the Supreme Court in its November 16, 2017 order.

The minister replied that replenishment study is not required for privately owned lands.

In another supplementary question, Rathore tried to ask about the revenue generated by the government through an open auction in 2012 but Speaker C P Joshi intervened and asked Rathore to be specific and ask relevant question only, which led to an argument.

The Opposition MLAs trooped into the well and raised slogans against the government. They alleged that the Congress government is not ready to reply on the 'bajri' mining.

Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria told the Speaker if the Opposition has no rights to raise question they would not attend the Question Hour.