SRINAGAR: All government departments requiring earth filling for developmental purposes will have to obtain a No Objection Certificate to ferry soil from Budgam district.
The applications will be scrutinized by a committee headed by by additional deputy commissioner Budgam who has been notified as the as nodal officer for the purpose.
According to an order issued by deputy commissioner Budgam, soil ferrying will be allowed only for cases which are urgent, and have proper requisition from the government departments.
An official of Geology and Mining department told Kashmir Reader that three soil excavating licences were cancelled a month ago for carrying soil unauthorisedly from the district. The soil was meant for R&B department for earth filling in Srinagar and Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency for ongoing flyover projects.
“Rampant earth cutting has been reported from many places in the district. There are reports that huge earth cutting machinery has been stationed near Karewas at Nowpora and Hayatpora in Chadoora, Gariend, Pallr, and Patwaw in Budgam district,” The deputy commissioner’s order said. “At most places earth cutting is taking place without proper permission from the office.”
The Geology and Mining official said that Karewas are important for maintaining a particular type of ecosystem.
To prevent this, the administration order said, costs will have to be paid for anyone is found indulging in illegal earth excavation, including the land owner, earth cutting agency and tipper owner.
“Due to both legal and illegal soil excavation scores of hills have now been rolled into plain swathes of land. This is disastrous,” the official said. “It has led to injury to hillocks, Karewas, and mountains.”
He, however, that the prohibitory orders won’t be enough to save the karewas, as illegal extractors find ways to flout orders.
“Some more measures will be taken shortly for the relief to the hillocks and Karewas,” he added.