Tasaduq Hussain

Kupwara, Feb 15 : The residents of the Mawar belt in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district have shown dissatisfaction over the partial action against the massive illegal extraction of sandstones and stated that the inappropriate action have made peoples’ lives miserable.

Over the years a couple of people have died in the trench dug by the illegal extraction despite authorities’ directions not to while in the recent incident a 16-year-old boy fell prey to the same that raised fingers at the administration for inaction.

An insider in the Mineral Department Kupwara told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that the officials along with the district officer this afternoon closed the entry points to famously known nallah Mawer in Handwara sub-division belt to ensure the blanket ban on extraction. “The strict action was initiated after the clear directions from deputy commissioner (DC) Kupwara”, he said.

Talking to reporters, District Mineral Officer (DMO), Mumtaz Ahmad termed the death of a 16-year-old as unfortunate and said that DC has given clear directions to close the entry points and fill trenches on an urgent basis.

“No activity will take place at this very place unless there are directions from the district magistrate (DM) or higher-ups,” he said adding that the department was busy with the recently concluded DDC elections and extractors illegally made routers and started mining at night hours.

Mumtaz cautioned against the illegal mining in the nallah and stated that the department will recommend Public Safety Act (PSA) against all those found there without consent while the accumulated material will be seized.

Meanwhile, aggrieved locals told KNO that the department always initiates actions whenever there is any untoward incident or a higher officer is scheduled to visit.

“This action from the concerned department and administration will remain there for 10-15 days only and after that the normal activities start with no action from the authorities,” they said.

They alleged that several people including teens have died so far but the concerned department never initiated concrete steps to stop the mining once for all since it has become a headache for the local populace.

Furthermore, the residents said that even today the visiting officials left few routes open for their people to enjoy the haven and keep digging the hell for residents.

“Divisional Commissioner Kashmir must visit the place and verify about the facts and actions from the administration from local authorities and stop the illegal once for all so that people have an ease,” they demanded.

“We urge the lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir to order a complete ban on mining in mawer nallah,” they pleaded—(KNO)

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