Bhalla urges LG to address mining issues on priority

Raman Bhalla listening to grievances of people.
Raman Bhalla listening to grievances of people.

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, June 17: Terming the order by Mining Department to fix rates of sand and gravel from river beds as mere eye wash, JKPCC Vice President and former Minister Raman Bhalla today claimed that owners and workers of JCB, dumper, tipper, tractor, trolley continue to suffer restrictions imposed on lifting of sand and gravel from river beds and urged upon the Government to review its order on ban of mining so as to save the owners from starvation.
This was observed by the former Minister after meeting aggrieved people from different areas of Gandhi Nagar constituency who are facing extreme hardships in constructing/repairing and renovating their houses in wake of shortage and costly construction materials. He said that on one hand the Government asked to start development works in each block but on the other hand imposed a ban on mining.
He said due to ban of mining, Panchayat members despite availability of funds failed to start any new development works as there is shortage of Bajri, sand and other material. He 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 but has also put the developmental activities to a grinding halt.
“After three years, the District Administration, Jammu finally notified the maximum rates for minor minerals – Sand, Bajri, Gravels, etc to be charged henceforth within Jammu district. True to its character of waking up late, the Government remained a mute spectator to hue and cries on black marketing of these basic construction materials,” he said and suggested that Govt should constitute enforcement committees at Tehsil level to monitor and attend to the complaints of overcharging.
Mr Bhalla asked LG Administration to resolve the mining issue as soon as possible to give a sigh of relief to people facing hardships due to non-availability of construction material. He asked Administration to address mining issues on priority as the people are facing problems due to blanket ban on construction material and those who are somehow getting the same are paying four to five times more than the actual rates.