Quarry Holders Demand Lifting Of Ban On Quarrying Operations

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Athwajan Stone Quarry. Photo by Umar Asif

Srinagar: The quarry holders and stone crusher owners Saturday appealed the Government to lift ban on quarrying and operations of stone crushers.

Scores of people under the banner of Himalayan Quarry & Tipper Association, Stone Crushers Association and All Quarry Association assembled in Press Enclave Srinagar to register their protest.

“Geology & Mining Department has cancelled our permits and has cut power supply to our crushing sites. The work season has started but we are jobless and forced to stay at homes. We are not allowed to utilise our own resources,” the protestors said.

The protestors said they fail to understand the motive behind banning quarry and stone crusher operations. “We are ready to pay royalty to the Geology & Mining Department, yet we are denying our right to earn a living,” said Nazir Ahmed adding that they are unable to support their families or the education of their children.”

They said it isn’t just those directly involved in the quarrying businesses that have been affected. “The ban has caused distress to an entire economic network built around the quarries, stone crushers – machine and truck spare part dealers, workshops involved in the maintenance of equipment, even tea stalls and restaurants near the sites of quarrying and stone crushing.

“Government claims it wants to develop Srinagar as smart city. Our simple question is that where from it will get raw material if it won’t allow us to work,” they questioned.

“The quarries keep construction contractors in business. They supply stones to stone crusher units that in turn provide crushed stones to hot-mix plants for the macadamisation of roads.”

The protesters threatened to intensify their protest and said they will observe hunger strike either outside LG’s office or Divisional Commissioner’s office if the ban is not lifted. (KNT)

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