Sand miners protest against allotment of contract to outsiders

Sand diggers staging protest at Srinagar on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Sand diggers staging protest at Srinagar on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Jan 28: Scores of sand miners today protested against the issuance of mining contracts to outsider and accused Government of keeping them in dark.
The sand diggers assembled in the Press Enclave here and demanded revocation of the mining contracts. They said, the move would snatch livelihood of hundreds of people associated with the business. They alleged that the authorities excluded them from tendering process by inviting tenders during internet shutdown.
Abdul Waheed Dar, one of the protestor, said that they could not participate in the tendering process due to internet shutdown and want authorities to give opportunity to all the stakeholders to participate in the process.
“Government issued tenders in our absence. Internet was down and we were unaware about the process. The tenders have been issued to outsiders. This step will snatch our livelihood,” he said, adding that his family have been manually extracting sand form the river bed for last sixty years.
The protestors said that they repeatedly raised the issue with the concerned authorities but they feigned helplessness. “We went to authorities for the purpose but they turned our pleas down. They said orders have come from above,” another protestor said.
The protestors appealed Lt. Governor, G C Murmu, to intervene in the matter.