‘Quarry holders on verge of starvation’

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Srinagar, Aug 3: An influential person has allegedly made thousands of workers associated with quarrying hostage notwithstanding Geology and Mining Department having no issues with quarry holders working at Pantha Chowk and Athwajan sites here in the Srinagar outskirts.
These quarry holders are in a fix and couldn’t understand what to do. Geology and Mining Department has allotted Aripora sites for these quarry holders which is surrounded by government forces camps. An official from Geology and Mining Department said on condition of anonymity that they have no problem with quarry holders working at Pantha Chowk and Athwajan sites. He added that department is facing tremendous pressure from a certain quarter. “If pollution is given the reason for the closure of these quarrying sites at Pantha Chowk and Athwajan, how can one justify their shifting to Aribag. Will Aribagh be not polluted?” he questioned and added that quarrying doesn’t cause major pollution problem.
Muhammad Maqbool, the president United Quarry Association said that they are being victimized for the fault of their none. He said a conspiracy is being hatched to cripple people of Kashmir economically. “Administration is biased and supports those who are influential. For them poor should go to dogs. We have decided to come on roads against this influential person in coming days,” Maqbool said.
He added that they have no objection and are ready to work at Aribagh but the forces camps there have already written a letter to Geology and Mining Department asking it not to allow us blasting. “We are in a dilemma. If one is allowing us a site another is raising objection. Aribagh site is surrounded by BSF Headquarters, CRPF and ITBP camps. Besides, there is Tangnar Water Project and a firing range. Besides, BSF, the department of forest is also raising objections and won’t allow us to use those quarrying cites,” he said.
“If pollution is the main problem at Athwajan and Pantachowk sites, we are ready use machinery to minimize it. If it is not a problem, then how come authorities are torturing us and depriving us from earn a living,” Muhammad Maqbool said and added that thousands of workers associated with quarrying are on the verge of starvation. (CNS)