SRINAGAR — Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Saturday reiterated his demand for revision of Geology and Mining policy that, according to the leader, has severely affected livelihood of lakhs of families besides halting private and public developmental works across Jammu and Kashmir.
Briefing the media persons about the protest programmes launched by the Apni Party across J&K, Bukhari appealed to the Lt. Governor-led government to roll back the existing Geology and Mining policy so as to safeguard the easementary rights of natives on their natural resources.
The press conference was attended by Party Vice President Zaffar Iqbal Manhas, General Secretary Rafi Ahmad Mir and Provincial President Kashmir Mohammad Ashraf Mir.
“The livelihood of around five lakh local families who since ages have been affiliated with the extraction, supplies, transportation and construction businesses have been severely affected by the present anti-people geology and mining policy,” Bukhari remarked.
He said that instead of taking people friendly measures, the present dispensation in J&K seems content in aggravating the miseries of the general public for unknown reasons.
“It is ironic that the government is boasting about the meagre royalty fetched in lieu of minor-mineral resources and on the other hand, it is paying through its nose in procurement of construction material required for its developmental projects!” he remarked.
Bukhari said that raw material extraction contract order issued post August 5, 2019 has adversely affected the mining business in J&K. “We will continue to raise the public interest issues, without bothering for the consequences. Right now, the administration seems unmoved but I assure all the stakeholders in the geology and mining sector that Apni Party will always struggle for their rights and take it to its logical conclusion,” he added.
Pertinently, the district units of the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party on Saturday held peaceful protest demonstrations against this policy at various places across J&K. Giving details of these places, Bukhari said the Party held protests in both divisions of J&K.
In district Srinagar, the protests were held at Pantha Chowk and Maloora, in Ganderbal at Watal Bagh and Wahid Pora, in Kulgam at Nehama, in Kupwara at TRC Kupwara Buna, in Baramulla at Sheerwani Colony, in Bandipora near R&B Inspection Head upto Mini Secretariat, in Shopian at Padpawan, in Anantnag at Sports Stadium Anantnag upto DC Office which was followed by a Tractor rally at Ashajipora, at Pulwama in Sempora.
Similarly in Jammu division, protests were held near Press Club Jammu Urban, in Jammu Rural-A Akhnoor near Fawara Chowk, in Jammu Rural-B in Arnia, in Domaana Chowk, in Udhampur at Jethani Chowk, in Samba at Vijayapur at National Highway, at Kathua in Heera Nagar & Machayri Bani, in Rajouri at Kotranka, in Poonch at Parade Ground, in Kishtwar at Main Bazar, in Reasi at Darmadi and in Ramban at Main Ramban.
Party Provincial President Kashmir, Mohammed Ashraf Mir during a protest demonstration here in Pantha Chowk, termed the geology and mining policy across J&K as ‘anti-people’ and said that the policy has badly hit the construction and developmental works in J&K.
“It has devastated lives of the native people who since ages have been affiliated with the extraction, supplies, transportation and construction business,” he said, adding that “the people in general have to pay sky-rocketed prices for the construction material.”
“The current policy is only favourable to the extraction-mafia who without any fear are supplying the material at hiked prices,” Mir said.
However, several senior party leaders including Javed Beigh, Muntazir Mohuiddin, Javid Ahmad Mir besides DDC members and activists were earlier in the day put under house detention to prevent them from participating in the proposed protest rallies for the day.
Ghulam Hassan Mir, Vice President Apni Party (had) said that the protests are to be held in all such districts of Jammu and Kashmir wherefrom the extraction of sand, bajri and stones is being carried out brazenly, leaving its ill-effects.
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