Resolve geology, mining crisis in J&K UT: Altaf Bukhari

JKAP president, Altaf Bukhari, flanked by others addressing press conference in Srinagar.
JKAP president, Altaf Bukhari, flanked by others addressing press conference in Srinagar.

*Development activities halted; people suffering

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Mar 17: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) president, Syed Mohd Altaf Bukhari today expressed deep concern over the lackadaisical attitude of the Government that has led to a grinding halt in developmental activities, black-marketing and an unprecedented escalation in prices of construction material across Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a press conference at Party office here today, Bukhari regretted the acute shortage of construction material that has led to illegal extraction and hoarding of construction material like sand, aggregate, gravel and stones causing immense sufferings to the general public.
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Bukhari, who was fanked by party vice president Ghulam Hassan Mir, general secretary Rafi Ahmad Mir and Provincial president Mohammad Ashraf Mir said, it is highly unfortunate that the natives of J&K who have been associated with minor mineralogy business since decades have been sidelined and the contractors from outside J&K who are yet to produce environmental clearances have been given a free hand to control the market.
JKAP chief said that the e-auction for extraction of raw material was held clandestinely without giving any wide publicity to the tendering process which has drastically resulted into exclusion of the local contractors. “Now what has added to this fishy allotment process is that the successful non-resident J&K contractors are yet to fulfill the requisite terms and conditions especially getting environmental clearances. Despite these noticeable shortcomings, these contractors are indulging in illegal extraction of raw material through their sub contractors in connivance with the concerned departments,” he added.
Bukhari said the common people are suffering because of this mafia that is taking advantage of the Government’s sheer silence and apathetic attitude. “It is highly unfortunate that the J&K Government seems to be a mute spectator to this whole situation and on different pretexts the locals associated with this business since decades are being deprived of their inherent rights on J&K’s natural resources,” he added.
He said that the Government must frame a comprehensive policy taking in view the Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand models wherein the rights of the locals on their natural resources have been safeguarded and insulated against the impact of e-auctioning process. He demanded that the government must regulate the prices of the raw material needed for construction purposes and ensure its hassle free availability in the markets.