Valley News Desk

Ishfaq Jabbar raised issue with Lt. Governor, Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce.

Srinagar 28 July:National Conference Senior Leader and former MLA Ganderbal Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar on Tuesday expressed his concern over the allotment of sand mining and mineral extraction contracts to non residents and described the policy adopted by the Geology and Mining Department with regard to allotment of mining and extraction contracts as alarming and against public interest.

In a statement issued here former MLA Ganderbal Ishfaq Jabbar today expressed serious concern over the reports that the work of sand extraction blocks along the River Sindh has been started by the outsiders and local quarry workers have been directed not to extract sand from the river Sindh by the Geology and Minning Department and Flood & Irrigation department Ganderbal.

Mr Jabbar said that he today raised this issue with Lieutenant Governor Shri G C Murmu and Principal Secretary Indutries & Commerce.

Ishfaq said that if Jammu and Kashmir administration on last week approved the grant of mining rights through short-term permits to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) then why in Ganderbal the outside contractors have been allowed to extract the sand and the concerned departments are harassing the locals.

He further said that the roads are being blocked or digged leading to quarries and the livelihood has been snatched.

Jabbar urged the Lt. Governor to immediately issue the orders of minning rights to local Panchayats and put the new mining or extraction policy in abeyance.

He urged the authorities not to play with the livelihood of local people during the Covid pandemic. It doesn’t behave good for the administration to play with the sentiments of the people during the Covid-19 pandemic, when every person in the state are struggling for their survival. It was most inhuman to usurp means of livelihood of the local people on on different pretexts, Jabbar added.

The Administrative Council (AC), which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu last week, approved the amendment to the Jammu and Kashmir Minor Mineral Concession, Storage, Transportation of Minerals and Prevention of Illegal Mining Rules, 2016.

The amendment will enable the grant of short-term permits to PRIs on land up to one hectare till September 30, 2021.

It also exempts PRIs from payment of advance royalty to the Geology and Mining Department before commencing mining, the spokesman had said last week.

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