Idrees Ali

Quarry workers protest against “leasing of minor minerals” in Nunar Ganderbal

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Ganderbal, 29 Oct: Hundreds of quarry workers Monday blocked Srinagar -Sonamarg   highway near Nunar here to protest against leasing of minor minerals in Nunar Ganderbal.

The protesters raised slogans against government and demanded the revocation of SRO-105, which allows the government to put minor minerals on lease, in the area.

Protesters said that many educated youth in the area are associated with quarrying business and now when the government has put the minor mineral rights on lease, they find themselves on the receiving end of this decision.

According to official sources, SRO-105 will curb illegal and unregulated mining and it will in no way affect any quarry worker or tipper owners.  “SRO-105 is being implemented in all other districts of the state,” they added.

When contacted district Mineral Officer Geology and Mining, Manzoor Ahmad Dar, he said: "SRO-105 is being implemented in Ganderbal with letter and spirit. Laborers had some quarries and we have addressed them. Now laborers and contractors are negotiating on some terms and we are facilitating them to reach an agreement.”

Sources said earlier this year the laborers protested against the auction of minerals blocks put on lease in various area of Ganderbal, nevertheless, the mineral blocks were auctioned and now contractors are taking formal possession of the minor mineral blocks.

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