Kashmiri leader raises ‘outsider’ issue, threatens stir

Jammu and Kashmir Apni party president Altaf Bukhari on Wednesday accused the UT government of sidelining the natives and giving contracts to outsiders in the extraction of construction materials business.

Bukhari has urged the UT government to review the extraction order in a week’s time or else the party will hit the roads along with the stakeholders.

Speaking at a press conference in Srinagar, Bukhari said, “It is highly unfortunate that the natives of J&K, who have been associated with minor mineralogy business since decades, have been sidelined and the contractors from outside J&K, who are yet to produce environmental clearances, have been given a free hand to control the market.

The Apni Party president said that the e-auction for extraction of raw material was held clandestinely without giving any wide publicity to the tendering process which has drastically resulted into exclusion of the local contractors.

He appealed to Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha for his personal intervention into the matter.

Bukhari said there has been an unprecedented escalation in the cost of construction material in Jammu and Kashmir. He regretted the acute shortage of construction material that has led to illegal extraction and hoarding of construction material like sand, aggregate, gravel and stones causing immense suffering to the general public.

“The shortage of raw materials like sand, bricks, stones, aggregate and gravel have not only caused immense sufferings to the general public but have stalled work on many prestigious developmental projects worth thousands of crores across Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.