Amend mining policy in 48 hours, Pathankot crusher owners warn govt : The Tribune India

2022-10-24 22:55:26 By : Mr. xiufeng wan

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Updated At: Sep 25, 2022 05:33 AM (IST) Portable Hammer Crusher

All 140-odd crusher units in the mining-rich district of Pathankot have threatened to surrender their electricity connections en masse if the government does not amend the new mining policy within 48 hours.

All 140-odd crusher units in the mining-rich district of Pathankot have threatened to surrender their electricity connections en masse if the government does not amend the new mining policy within 48 hours.

Quarries yet to be auctioned

The crushing season commences on October 1. However, we cannot commence our business because legal quarries are yet to be auctioned. Vijay Passi, President, Pathankot district crusher association

Vijay Passi, president of the Pathankot District Crusher Association, said the main aim of the new policy was to provide mining material at cheap rates. “However, this is not possible because the old system of auctioning quarries is still in place. If, say, the bid goes for a high rate, it is clear that the contractor will obviously jack up the rates, which will ultimately affect the common man,” he said.

The crushing season commences on October 1. “However, we cannot commence our business because legal quarries are yet to be auctioned,” said Passi.

“Legal quarries are identified on the basis of district survey reports (DSR). However, the reports have not yet been finalised. The process is on, but nobody knows when these will be finalised. If there is no DSR, there can be no quarry. In such a scenario, auctions cannot take place. We have taken up this issue with the Mining Department, but haven’t received a response,” said Passi.

Sanjay Anand, secretary of the association, said it appeared the AAP government was trying to help crusher units based in HP and J&K. “Thousands of families earn their livelihood from crushing which, in any case, is a big-time business in these two election-bound states. It is clear AAP is on a vote-catching spree,” he said.

“Scores of trucks enter Punjab from HP and J&K daily. The government levies a royalty at Rs 7 per cubic feet. Does levying royalty make them legal? This is a clear violation of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) norms,” he said.

“The Mining Department is issuing recovery notices to owners claiming they were carrying out illegal mining in some quarries. Some of these sites are 35 years old. ‘Fake’ FIRs are being registered. It has become unviable for us to operate,” said Anand.

A Mining Department official said the government was looking into their grievances.

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