Increase in Royalty spark protest


Srinagar:  Vehicular movement on Srinagar-Anantnag road was disrupted for hours at Pantha Chowk area of summer capital on Tuesday when scores of stone quarry workers amid anti-government protest blocked the road causing inconvenience to the commuters. The Stone-quarry workers were protesting against the augmentation of royalty. One of the protesters told CNS that the government via an SRO 105 has increased royalty over sand/stone per tipper by 50 %.
 “Earlier we would pay Rs 110 per tipper and now same has been increased to Rs 180. This is injustice towards us,” the protesters said.
 “We are of firm belief that a conspiracy is being hatched against us to deprive us from our ownership rights.
 “Earlier we had been informed that lease orders won’t be given to individuals. Instead, we are being told now that 50-60 firms/individuals will be given single lease orders.It is a ploy to take away our rights of our land and bring non-state subjects to Jammu and Kashmir,” said a quarry owner adding that this move from the government will be a burden for the common people as well as now onwards a stone tipper will cost more now. 
More so, he alleged that the government has increased the application fee for short term permits from Rs 5 to Rs 5o000. “It is andha raaj,” he rued, “see the height of dictatorship that we stayed the governor order of hike in fee that Vohra administration brought new order within fifteen days.”
Claiming that such step of government will have far reaching consequences in Kashmir, protesters said, “the stone tipper which we would sell @ Rs 2000-3000 will now be sold at Rs 8000 which will be burden on common man.”


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