Chandigarh: Congress today staged a noisy demonstration before walking out of the Assembly over the issue of installation of Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) in different cities across the state.

Leader of Opposition Sunil Kumar Jakhar asked the government in which cities Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had last year laid the foundation stones for sewerage, water supply and installation of STPs.

Replying to it, minister Anil Joshi said these schemes were “withdrawn by the Centre”.

The minister, however, said Sukhbir had laid foundation stones of sewerage projects in 21 cities in February and March last year.

The reply agitated the opposition members who then, led by Jakhar, stormed into the well of the House and staged a noisy demonstration before trooping out of the Assembly.

After about five minutes, the opposition members returned to the House.

During the Zero Hour, Jakhar alleged that illegal sand mining was taking place across the state.

He sought constitution of a house committee to raid the crushers and to check whether the illegal mining was going on.

Intervening into the matter, Sukhbir Badal assured the House that about 300 mines across the state would become functional in a transparent manner within the next six months.

“In the last ten years of UPA regime, no sanction for mining was given to Punjab by the Centre,” he alleged and blamed the previous Central government for the problem.

He said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) had been constituted to look into the matter of illegal mining and it submitted its report to Punjab and Haryana High Court.

“Since the setting up of SIT about 3,000 cases have been registered, but the provisions under Motor Vehicle Act are such that the government had to release vehicles caught,” he said.

Sukhbir, however, said that he had received reports of illegal mining going on in Fazilka and Ferozepur districts and directed the respective Senior Superintendents of Police to take an immediate action against those found involved in the trade.

“The government is committed to stop illegal mining,” he said. 

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