Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Friday directed state authorities to rehabilitate stone quarry workers and file a compliance report by 6th April.
The division bench of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey passed the direction after aggrieved quarry workers and owners moved an application in the court seeking their rehabilitation.
The court also directed government to frame a policy of rehabilitation for quarry owners and workers.
The state counsel told the court that the government has prepared a policy for rehabilitation.
The court asked the government to act by or before 6th April. The government has banned mining activities in forests and outskirt areas of state in light of ecological dangers it poses.
Meanwhile Commissioner/ Secretary to government Industries and Commerce Department informed the court about availability of the alternate sites.
“In district Baramulla, Veeran site is available. Similarly in Ganderbal, Pahlipora site is available. In District Pulwama Awantipora, Naginder, Zantrag, Satpokhran, Bathyan, Mandakpal, Khrew, Wuyan, Syed Memmoodabad sites are available,” the report submitted by the Commissioner said.
“In district Budgam, old sites namely Kralnewa Tehsil Khanshab can be restored which is not on a forest land/ Kahcharai.”
However, in district Anantnag and Kupwara, no site is available yet and the government sought more time to look for the sites.
The government also informed the court that District level committees were formed for identification of alternate sites in various districts.
Advocate Zaffar Shah representing some of the stone quarries was asked to file response and suggestions as to how stone quarry workers can be rehabilitated.