Pampore: Scores of quarry and stone crusher workers on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest demonstration at Wuyan village of Pampore area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
The protesting quarry and stone crusher workers were demanding short term permission for quarrying.
The protesters holding the placards and banners demanded revocation of the ban on stone quarrying activities.
They shouted slogans demanding justice and revocation of the continuous ban on stone excavation by the government.
The protest was held in a ground at Bakshi Bagh Wuyan under the joint banner of All Quarry Association And Stone Crushers Association.
Many of the workers were protesting along with their families including children. Many had brought their vehicles too. The protestors were holding banners inscribed with messages, “Do justice with us and we demand justice.”.
The protester workers appealed to the LG administration to look into the matter without any further delay.
Mehraj Ahmad Ganie, a local resident of Syed Abad Wuyan told that they have been suffering for the past two years due to the ban on stone quarry.
He added that around 90 per cent residents in Wuyan, Mandakpal, Ladhoo, Awantipora and Khrew village depend on stone quarrying for their income.
“We have been doing it for generations and had been earning our bread and butter from it,” Mehraj said, adding that the ban on quarrying has brought them on the brink of starvation.
” Government says Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikas but on the other hand snatchd livelihood of poor families,” he said.
Another resident Bashir Ahmad told that they used to quarry on permit basis.
” We were paying a government prescribed amount as royalty,” Bashir said, adding that they were asked to apply for lease which they did and their files are languishing in government offices.
We are not being given the permission and we don’t know what to do now, if they want us to pay royalty we will provide them and if they want to grant the quarries on lease we have already applied for the lease, and we request them to process our lease applications on priority basis,” he said.
The protesting quarry and stone crusher workers appealed to Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir UT for intervening into the matter.
“Our kids are suffering as we are unable to pay their school fee and many stone crusher plant owners are indebted to banks and they are unable to pay interest on the loans,” they said.