Illegal mining
Representational Image

SRINAGAR — After the intervention of the National Green Tribunal, the J&K Pollution Control Committee has directed the Deputy Commissioner Pulwama to halt riverbed mining in Rambiara and Romshi streams in Pulwama.

Last year, NGT had issued a notice to the J&K Government and DC Pulwama after a petition was moved by social activist Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat against illegal riverbed mining in Romshi Nallah in Pulwama.

The Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Committee (PCC) in an order issued a few days back has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Pulwama to stop the project proponents and contractors from carrying out mining activity in two blocks of Rambiara stream for violating the environmental guidelines set by PCC and other scientific bodies.

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In two different orders issued on February 2, the J&K Pollution Control Committee directed the project proponents M/S Khursheed Ahmad and M/S Umnesh Kumar Sharma to cease the operation of the mining activity forthwith.

The DC Pulwama has been directed to ensure the mining activity is stopped immediately. The Pollution Control Committee in its orders said that contractors had violated the rules of the environmental clearance by using heavy machinery like JCBs and L&T cranes for the operation of mining activities in their allotted blocks.

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When contacted, petitioner Dr Raja Muzaffar said that this is a welcome step but he raised a question why didn’t the Pollution Control Committee act in the last two years when the loot and plunder was at its peak in Pulwama, Budgam, Shopian and other districts.

“I was forced to knock on doors of NGT as J&K Government and Pollution Control Committee failed to take action. I will ask NGT to take action against PCC as well because they are equally responsible for this mess,” said Dr Raja Muzaffar.

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