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Altaf Bukhari demands revised policy on geology, mining activities in J&K

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Advocates extraction, lifting of raw material on Short Term Permit basis

SRINAGAR :  Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Saturday urged the J&K government to formulate a revised policy to address the issues pertaining to viability of industrial units and the livelihood of thousands of families associated with geology and mining activities in J&K.

In a press release issued here, Bukhari said that till the policy was chalked out, the government must allow extraction and lifting of raw material including stones, sand and aggregate on Short Term Permit basis.

“Since there is a blanket ban on stone quarrying and sand digging activities in both divisions of J&K, the government must issue Short Term Permits to the concerned stakeholders so that the closed crusher units are made functional. This way the livelihood of lakhs of people who solely depend on this business can be reinstated,” he remarked.

Further in the press release, Bukhari said that the ban on extraction and lifting of raw material including stones, sand, gravel and aggregate has not only created acute shortage of key construction material in the market but has also caused huge cost escalation, affecting overall developmental  activities in private and public sector across both the divisions of union territory.

“The local quarry owners at Athwajan, Panthachowk, Zewan, Khanmouh in Srinagar and Kathua, Samba, Akhnoor, Reasi, Doda, Kishtwar in Jammu division should be allowed to go for extraction and lifting of raw material on Short Term Permit basis and similarly in Baramulla, Kupwara, Budgam, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Anantnag rural areas, Panchayats should be authorized to allow lifting and extraction of raw material in their respective areas,” Bukhari demanded.

Emphasizing on the need for a revised policy on geology and mining activities in J&K, Bukhari urged the government to ask the concerned department to replicate the policies feasible clauses of Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand models which provide safeguards to the locals in minor mineral exploitation processes and ensures their livelihood is not jeopardized by illegal mining and e-auctioning processes, the press release added.

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