Rehab Of Quarrying Ban Sufferers: HC Seeks Action Taken Report

Srinagar—The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday sought follow up action by the Government regarding rehabilitation of those stone quarry holders whose quarries were closed down by the authorities.

The direction by a Division Bench of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey followed after being informed that the Government has identified alternate sites for the Stone quarry holders in various districts except district Anantnag and Kupwara.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Sofi Arif Maqbool, a resident of Handwara, seeking an end to stone quarrying within forest demarcated areas in the state.

The PIL has been filed by one Sofi Arif Maqbool, a resident of Wahipora, Handwara in Kupwara. Among other directions, he seeks an end to stone quarrying within forest demarcated areas in the state.

Maqbool had claimed that there has been unabated stone quarrying within forest areas for a long period and that ban on the quarrying “appears to be only on the papers.”

He had also accused state authorities of lacking will to implement the orders of the court regarding the quarrying.

The court has already stayed the operation of illegal quarrying in forests including Kupwara and Baramulla districts.

During one the previous hearing, Financial Commissioner Industries and Commerce Department had informed the court that the government has formed districts level committees for Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kupwara and Pulwama headed by respective deputy commissioners to identify alternative sites for stone quarrying in these districts. 

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