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news details
Illegal mining in Khrew: Wildlife Deptt initiates probe
“Cement factories function near Dachigam National Park illegally,” alleges complainant
9/22/2020 12:33:09 AM
SAAHIL SUHAIL

EARLY TIMES REPORT

SRINAGAR, Sept 21: The Wildlife Department has finally initiated a probe into the complaints of illegal mining in Khrew and Khonmoh areas of Kashmir. The department is also going to investigate whether the cement factories functioning near Dachigam National Park had sought No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from the department.
The Regional Wildlife Warden Kashmir, Rashiq Naqash has ordered the probe, officials told Early Times on Monday.
“… Shri Intisar Suhail, Wildlife Warden Shopain Division is hereby designated as inquiry/investigating officer to examine the allegations made in the complaint lodged by Shri Mohmmad Sadiq Poswal (Social and RTI activist) with regard to the working of cement factories and mining in Khrew,” reads an order [RWLW/K/Estt/2020-21/695-99 dated 21-09-2020], issued Regional Wildlife Warden Kashmir. A copy of this order lies with Early Times.
Mohmmad Sadiq Poswal, who lodged a complaint against ‘illegal’ mining and working of cement factories has claimed that cement factories and their mines in Kashmir were operating close to Dachigam National Wildlife Sanctuary without getting proper no-objection certificates (NOCs) from the concerned authorities.
“The cement plants in Khonmoh and Khrew areas of Srinagar and Pulwama districts respectively have not got mandatory NOCs from the Wildlife department even though these factories have been operating for more than a decade now,” he has alleged in the complaint.
RTI activist claims that most of these cement plants are also running within less than five kilometers distance from the outer boundary of Dachigam Sanctuary.
“On 28-07-2018, Deputy Conservator of Forests (WL), Central Division Srinagar under letter No: WLWC/Estt/18-19/935-36 mentions that the distance of Khyber Cements, TCI Cements, Saifco Cements, Dawar Cement, HK Cement and Cemtac Cements from outer boundary of the Sanctuary is 2.18, 3.38, 2.25, 3.62, 3.96 and 4.92 kms,” Mohmmad Sadiq Poswal claims in his complaint.
He shared a copy of complaint with this newspaper as well.
He alleges that the politician-bureaucrat-cement mafia nexus was so strong in Kashmir over the years that they flouted norms with impunity. He says that forest and wildlife land was being vandalized every year in the area as there was no barron land which could be used for the extraction of raw material for the cement production.
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