JKAP urges Govt to allow extraction of construction material on royalty basis

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) leader Mohammad Ashraf Mir on Monday urged the government of J&K UT to allow the extraction of key construction material by the local mining contractors who have been otherwise barred due to e-tendering process.

In a statement issued here, Mir said that the blanket ban on extraction of building material has halted all type of developmental activities both in government and private sector since November 2019 in Kashmir division.

“The government introduced e-auction for mining activities has only favoured outside J&K contractors giving a death blow to the locals associated with this business. Since the auction took place online, the contracts were, however, not allotted to the few successful bidders. With the result the whole extraction activity has came to a standstill, not only disrupting the government and private constructions but have skyrocketed the prices of raw material for locals population,” he remarked.

The JKAP leader said the government’s move to go for e-tendering left the local contractors high and dry in view of their net worth and lack of internet facility. “While it is understandable that auctions to J&K mines were held online in order to make the process fairer but the e-auction proved disastrous for the local contractors who could not participate in the bidding process because clampdown and internet blockade in October 2019,” Mir said.

He said that since then the local contractors are not being allowed extraction of key construction material like sand, gravel, boulders, aggregate, etc, which has caused an acute scarcity of raw material for developmental activities besides rendering thousands of local youth associated with extraction and mining business jobless.

“The government should revisit this entire bidding process for mining activities and ensure mass participation of local contractors in it. Till then the government should allow the local contractors to go for extraction of the construction material on the royalty basis which was in vogue prior to October 2019,” Mir demanded.

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