Illegal stone quarrying in Baramulla

There should be some limit to the human greed with intent to earn more and more money even if would be as a result of violating a natural boon like a natural water lake or majestically flowing river or felling trees in already shrinking forests or illegal mining. There are numerous examples and “commercial traditions” of not only overdrawing the natural resources but damaging them and for making a fast buck greedy people could resort to the proverbial killing the goose itself that was laying a golden egg every day. Stone quarrying is one of such measures which executed illegally and from spots not technically allowed because of associated hazards, wreaks havoc with not only the landscape but could even threaten the very lives of the people living around there.
Drangbal area of Baramulla district in Kashmir valley is a place where illegal stone quarrying is being openly done with impunity even if it amounted to not only damaging the roads built at huge cost involving money and labour but posed threat to human lives. In this area more than 25 stone quarrying “units” are operating and astonishingly, seventy percent are carrying their activities illegally and without any proper authorisation. Scores of trucks are lined up there to carry stones from the area for sale. The residents of the area living at the bottom of these “sites” of the hill are vulnerable to various types of difficulties. We would like to ask the authorities from the Geology and Mining Department as to how against four ‘units’, 25 are functioning and if there was active connivance of the officers of the concerned departments including the District administration and the Police.
There are otherwise many areas like near Athwajan, Panthachukh in outskirts of Srinagar city and at other places near Pampore in Kashmir and adjoining areas where stone quarrying perhaps has reached limits of ‘not to have more of it’ and from a close and distant view, the targeted spots look awfully defaced suggestive of such activities should otherwise have been carried on at a farther distance where such activities would prove to be comparatively less hazardous and the spots less disfigured . Dust and noise are the two immediate offshoots of quarrying activities and it is because of these risks to the health of the human lives, such activities are not allowed near or around residential localities. Naturally, locals of Drangbal are put to lot of inconvenience, are anguished as well as concerned about unabated quarrying.
The issue needs to be looked at beyond net commercial angle especially when such activities could result in not only sullying and vandalizing the hills, rocks etc but could pose the danger of landslides and shooting stones thus jeopardising the lives of the people using the road at the bottom of the affected (quarried) area.. It is a matter to be rued at that a long stretch of 12 kilometres of road has already suffered damages due to quarrying. Let us look at it from the legal point of view in that, majority of quarrying activities are going on illegally and un-authorisedly, particularly in Turrae Nagarath. Apart from clouds of dust and intolerable decibels of noise, movement of tippers and load carriers, the quarrying has reportedly damaged 14 kilometre long Hajibal road . This road was constructed, it may be noted, under Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) scheme involving crores of Rupees. We urge the concerned authorities to order a probe into the entire issue and find out how such ‘units’ were operating from Drangbal with impunity and what measures were proposed to be taken to pre-empt such activities taking place elsewhere after the unauthorised ‘units’ under reference were immediately closed.