Idrees Ali

Illegal quarrying costs one more life in Gandebal, authorities pass the buck

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Ganderbal, July 20: A laborer lost his life while quarrying in Kondbal hillock on Wednesday as the authorities have miserably failed to curb the illegal quarrying in the area which is posing a constant threat to scores of others laborers.

According to a police official, the laborer Bashir Ahmad Mallah, a resident of Kondba Manasbal, was killed after a pile of rocks slid and fell on him when he was working at a stone quarry in Patarmulla Kondbal area of Manasbal in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

Official sources told ‘Kashmir Images’ that few years back, the quarrying in the area was banned by the government but the same is going unabatedly there.

Local residents said, “Last year locals of Kondbal had a narrow escape when a landslide occurred near the illegal quarrying site.”

They said that in the same year a driver was killed, when his vehicle fell in a quarry pit in Ganderbal, where illegal quarrying is still rampant.

When contacted Mineral officer Geology and mining Ganderbal said, “The quarry site where the ​death took place is not registered with Geology and mining department. Quarrying in the area has been banned by district administration.”

“The land comes under the jurisdiction of forest department. We only monitor the transportation of minerals,” he added.

District forest officer Sind Division Ganderbal told ‘Kashmir Images’ that it is not the responsibility of his department to curb illegal mining in Kondbal hillock. “We have demarcated the forest area. The place where the death took place does not come in our jurisdiction,” he added.

Meanwhile, the concerned Tehsildar also passed the back by saying that the area where the illegal quarrying has been reported comes under forest department. “But my field staff is making every effort to curb illegal quarrying in the area.”

“There is lot of confusion over the quarrying site in Kondbal area, we need to demarcate the area properly,” he added.

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