Lal Singh Halts Pollution Control Board Activities in Kashmir, Massive Losses Anticipated



Lal Singh

Silent simmer is building in Kashmir’s unit-holders and shop establishment camp from nearly a month now over the holdup of pollution clearance certificate by the Pollution Control Board (PCB).

The miffed delegation comprising of unit-holders and shop establishment visited Pratap Park to allege that the board isn’t issuing pollution control certificate following the forest minister Lal Singh’s dictate.

The delegation expressed their shock besides rage over the brazen directive from the forest minister who is also looking into PCB’s activities.

“From nearly one month now,” said Shabir, a unit-holder in Industrial Estate Lassipora, “the PCB isn’t issuing us NoCs regarding pollution check. The inordinate delay is costing us dear.”

When the unit-holders brought the issue to PCB’s notice, they said they were told that the board has received orders from Lal Singh not to issue any certificate. “The officials didn’t explain it further,” Shabir said.

Being at the heart of the current crisis in Kashmir’s unit-holders’ camp, Lal Singh has added another controversy to his name.

Lately, the mercurial Singh stirred the hornet’s nest over his ‘1947 massacre’ remarks. Though he later denied having said anything regarding the massacre by asserting he was referring to temperature in Jammu, but he was already castigated for his conduct. As a health minister in Mufti Sr’s cabinet, Singh was at the centre of storm over his blatant ‘collar-correction’ behaviour. Even the medicos castigated him for making their job uneasy.

The unit-holders’ delegation even claimed that Singh hasn’t issued any such orders for Jammu. “It is quite clear what Singh wants to achieve with his latest move,” said Imtiyaz Ali, another unit-holder. “He wants to hurt Kashmir industry by incurring huge losses to it.”

Notably, PCB’s NoC is essential for the unit-holders and shop establishment to run their commerce smoothly. “PCB’s task force keeps doing rounds in market to check the certificate,” Ali said. “In absence of that, a unit-holder faces closure.”

But from past one month, Ali said PCB’s task force isn’t seen anywhere, making doubts of unit-holders clear that they are being made part of ‘some larger conspiracy’.

A senior rank officer in PCB speaking on anonymity for the fear of reprisals confirmed the development.

“Lal Singh verbally told the Board not to issue or renew the certificate,” the official told Kashmir Life. “No written order has been issued in this regard.”

Without explaining further, the official suggested to contact the PCB chairperson Abdul Razzak, who declined to comment on the issue, saying, “Better contact the minister.”

Singh kept his phone busy when repeatedly called for comments. However, while winding up discussion on grants to Forest and Ecology department in legislative assembly in the on-going budget session, he said, “the idea of PCB has been defeated because the level of pollution has gone up in Srinagar.”

“The fact is,” said Mushtaq, a unit holder part of the delegation, “a unit-holder requires the certificate for various transactions. Holding it is a whimsical move from Lal Singh — as our trade is massively suffering because of this.”


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