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Mining Business: Non-locals outsource 90% mining blocks to locals in Kashmir

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On the directions of District Mineral Officers in different districts of Kashmir Valley, Geology and Mining Department police have registered scores of cases.

District Mineral Officers have taken stringent measures against habitual offenders through the constant seizure of illegal vehicles and imposing penalties in Pulwama, Kupwara, Kulgam and Shopian.

Over 90% of mining blocks that had been e-auctioned had gone to the kitty of non-locals for 5 years.

Director Geology and Mining O.P Bhagat said that a healthy e-auction amount has been realized during e-auction of mining blocks.

A local in the mining business told news agency Kashmir News Trust that after getting the mining rights, the non-locals outsourced 90% mining blocks to locals of Kashmir. “The non-locals have deployed some people who are also locals to manage their business. Both locals, as well as non-locals, reap benefits,” he said.

Notably, mining blocks in 4 districts of Kashmir were e-auctioned in 2019 at a time when there was no internet connectivity as a result only 5 to 10 percent locals were able to get the mining rights.

This move on part of the government had come under sharp criticism.

Apni Party President Syed Altaf Bukhari had alleged that e-auctions for extraction of the construction materials including sand and gravel were held clandestinely without giving any wide publicity to the tendering process which drastically resulted in the exclusion of the local contractors. [KNT]

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