Majid Kapra

Stone quarry owners threaten indefinite strike from Monday

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Alleges undue ‘interference’ by outside state ‘brokers’  

SRINAGAR: Stone quarry owners from Panthachowk area on the city outskirts and its adjacent areas Saturday threatened indefinite strike from Monday, June 6 in case the administration does not take strong note of the ‘undue interference’ by outside state ‘brokers’ who they alleged want to ‘impair’ the industry.

The aggrieved quarry owners said despite assurances by the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha that the industry would be streamlined and those associated with the particular business would be allowed to work smoothly, some vested interest elements in connivance with outside state brokers make all out efforts to ruin their business.

Addressing a press conference at Panthachowk, president, Stone Quarry Owners Association, Bashir Ahmad threatened to go for an indefinite strike from June 6 in case the government failed to identify and punish the people who he alleged want to take over the business.

He said from January till May 13 this year, they got only thirteen days of business that took a huge toll on the trade impacting the livelihood of hundreds of families.

Bashir Ahmad also said the government for unknown reasons replaced District Mineral Officers (DMO’s) with Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) officers whom he alleged does not know how to run the affairs of the department thus leaving them in economic jeopardy.

“We appeal to the LG, Div Com Kashmir and other higher-ups of the administration to identify and punish the elements who want our qualified children to remain jobless. As I already said some vested interest elements don’t want us to work as their aim is to take over the industry,” he alleged.

He appealed to the center and the UT government to ensure the stone quarry industry is saved from the clutches of outside state brokers and that they are allowed to work smoothly as per the agreement.

“We are adhering to government orders and supplying loose material to government approved contractors only. We have also erected barricades to ensure no one flouts the norms. We have been directed to work from 9 am to 5 pm and we do the same. Hence we request the government to ensure our business is not affected at all,” he added.

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