Srinagar, Mar 26 : Demanding roll back of existing geology and mining policy, Apni Party (AP) on Friday said it was anti-people of Jammu and Kashmir.
AP provincial president Mohammad Ashraf Mir talking to reporters here said in order to get rid of the existing anti-people minor-mineral policy, AP has decided to stage peaceful protest demonstrations at district headquarters across Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.
Highlighting the lacunas in the existing mining policy, Mir said it is because of the present policy that there is an acute shortage of construction material in Jammu and Kashmir. “The shortage and illegal mining has not only led to skyrocketing prices of construction material like sand, stones, gravel and aggregate but it has significantly halted the construction works including the government’s prestigious developmental projects,” he added.
He said earlier there would be no e-auction of minor mineral blocks in J&K and lakhs of families associated with the mining sector would sustain their livelihood since ages. “Now the non residents of J&K have been allowed to participate in the e-auctioning process which was carried out in a clandestine manner. It seems the locals associated with this sector were kept out of e-auction that was done at a time when the internet services were shut in J&K,” he added.
Mir said not only prices of raw material have skyrocketed, but the livelihood of lakhs of families was severely affected. “Extraction of sand, gravel, boulder stones is halted. Similarly, easementary rights of residents of J&K have been compromised. Business of Quarry Owners, Crusher Owners, Tipper Owners, Tractor Owners, Hot-Mix & Wet-Mix Plant Owners, Drivers, Masons and other concerned people has been jeopardized. This way the existing mining policy has tremendously added to the unemployment scale in J&K,” Mir remarked.
He said the families associated with the mining sector want a revised and comprehensive mining policy that will ensure that inherent rights of the natives on their natural resources.
“The new policy should ensure employment for skilled and unskilled youth of J&K. It should also regulate market prices of construction material. The new policy should ensure hassle free developmental work and it should end discrimination with residents of J&K,” he demanded.