Quarry holders stage protest at Pantha Chowk

Srinagar—Quarry holders Tuesday staged a massive protest and blocked vehicular movement for hours against government decision of not allowing them to resume their operations at Athwajan and Pantha Chowk quarries.

The protest was organized by United Quarry Association and Himalayan Quarry and Tipper Association, led by Mushtaq Ahmed and Muhammad Maqbool.

The protesters said that they should be allowed to work in their respective quarries at Athwajan and Panthachowk while ban imposed by the government should be revoked.

“Government had initiated a process to shift us to Zewan and Shaleguph but there people raise objections and don’t allow us to work. We don’t know what has been happening. The government has snatched our livelihood,” the protesting quarry holders told news agency CNS.

“We want government to implement the recommendations of the committee headed by ADC Srinagar wherein he has asked government to allow quarry holders to lift lose material through blasting,” said Mushtaq Ahmed.

They said before issuing ban order, the government didn’t take quarry holders into confidence given the fact they pay taxes in the form of Royalty towards Geology and Mining Department and in return get permission for extraction of stones for sale.

The protest disrupted traffic for hours at Pantha Chowk while a police team led by SDPO rushed to spot to pacify the protesters. “The SDPO talked to IGP Kashmir who assured us that matter will be brought into the notice of government. On Wednesday we will meet IGP Kashmir. We are hopeful government will resolve our issue,” they said.

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