Stone Quarry Workers Block Srinagar Highway @ Mehjoor’s Mausoleum



Stone Quarry

Scores of stone workers have blocked Srinagar-Islamabad highway at Poet Mehjoor’s Mausoleum at Athwajan.

Reports reaching here said that the blockade of the vital road connecting central Kashmir to South Kashmir has led to heavy traffic jam.

“We are stranded in jam for last two hours,” a passenger on way to summer capital told Kashmir Life over phone. “There are protests by stone quarry workers going on. They are not letting anyone to pass through even army vehicles had to take U-Turn.”

Athwajan Stone Quarry Workers Protest on  April 19, 2016. (KL Image: Shams Irfan)
Athwajan Stone Quarry Workers Protest on April 19, 2016 at Panthachowk. (KL Image: Shams Irfan)

Speaking to Kashmir Life, a quarry owner, Mohammad Maqbool Para, said, “an SRO 105 was implemented by governor N N Vohra in January which increased royalty over sand/stone per tipper by 50 %.”

Accusing government of anarchy, Para said, “we would pay Rs 110 per tipper and now same has been increased to Rs 180.”

Rejecting government proposals of “consortiums”, Para said, “we have been told that lease orders won’t be given to individuals. Instead, we are being told that 50-60 firms/individuals will be given single lease orders.” “It is a ploy to take away our rights of our land and bring non-state subjects to J&K.”

More so, he alleged that the government has increased the application fee for short term permits from Rs 5 to Rs 5o000. “It is andha raaj,” he rued, “see the height of dictatorship that we stayed the governor order of hike in fee that Vohra administration brought new order within fifteen days.”

Claiming that such step of government will have far reaching consequences in Kashmir, Para said, “the stone tipper which we would sell @ Rs 2000-3000 will now be sold at Rs 8000 which will be burden on common man.”


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