Soil excavation of saffron fields continues amid ban’
PAMPORE: In brazen violation of the ban imposed on soil excavation on saffron land, many miscreants have been continuing the illegal act from many days during the night hours in Chandhara area of Pampore in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Locals told Kashmir Reader that the authorities have failed to curb the illegal excavation as no attempt was made by revenue official to stop the illegal activity.
“Revenue department seems in slumber and and shows negligence of the officials in stopping the illegal activity,” said a local. He added that irony is that this is happening at a time when National Saffron Mission Saffron has been given a two year extension by government of India.
Locals told Kashmir Reader that scores of dumper tippers, bulldozers and JCBs could be seen busy in soil cutting and ferrying it to other places without any fear of authorities during night hours.
The residents told Kashmir Reader that the illegal activity starts soon after the dusk.
Locals said the land mafia has been supplying this soil to RAMKY company.
The civil society members also told Kashmir Reader that the unauthorized soil excavation was not only deforming the landscape but posing “threat to saffron
cultivation” as most of the land that is leveled is later used for construction of residential and commercial structures.
When contacted Revenue officials, they said that issue had come into their notice and they wrote to the police for coordination at the time of raids.
The letter to the police reads: “un-authorized clay excavation was being carried at the village Chandhara and when a raid was conducted all the violators fled from the spot leaving behind machinery utilized in the excavation.”
“L&T machines belonging to Abdul Salam Yatoo son of Ali Mohammad Yattoo and Javed Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Ahad both residents of Patalbagh Pampore which were lying at the spot till the raid concluded (sic),” letter reads.
Meanwhile, Station House Officer Pampore Madasir Naseer told Kashmir Reader that they have lodged an FIR No 66/2018 under section 188 RPC in this regard against seven persons.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Pulwama Ghulam Mohammad Dar told Kashmir Reader that they would conduct night raids to nab the violators and would take stringent action against the violators.
Locals in Pampore have welcomed the decision of the DC Pulwama and said that it would be appreciable if the violators would be brought to book.
Director Agriculture Altaf Ajaz Andrabi has also directed the officials of his department to remain and stop the violators whose activity threatens saffron cultivation.
“if the un authorized excavation would continue then there would be no land for cultivation of Saffron in the area,” Andrabi told Kashmir Reader.
Earlier, government of India, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers welfare, (Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers welfare) Horticulture Division extension of 2 years to “National Mission on Saffron” to undertake the pending works under MIDH (Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture).