JAMMU: As the sky-rocketing rates of building material like sand and crusher stones have hit hard the people across Jammu division over the months, the export of mining material to Punjab is continuing unabatedly. This has resulted in a huge hike in the rate structure, reason being the nexus between the mining mafia and the Department of Geology & Mining in Jammu.The contractors in Jammu and Kashmir have been demanding that the mining material should not be exported to Punjab and other neighbouring States, in view of massive development, both in the private and public sectors taking place across the Union Territory of J&K. But all the pleas have been going in vain as nobody is ready to listen to the woes of the stakeholders.“Even after bearing fivefold rate increase, we have to wait for two to three weeks for getting building material”, said a local contractor.This export has caused huge losses not only to contractors, who have been allotted the government works across J&K but the locals are the major sufferers.“In the wake of shortage of building material here, we are not able to carry out the works on time”, said a government contractor.Harish Sharma, a Gandhi Nagar based businessman, who is constructing his house, said, “For the past four months, I am running short of building material including sand and crushed stones. The local dealers claim that they have no material whileas the factual position on ground is different”.The mining mafia is operating very smartly and for their petty gains they are selling the mining material outside J&K.The Mining Department is absolving itself by not maintaining vigil on the export by unscrupulous mafia dons. The officers of Department of Mining, which is already mired in the controversies of corruption from various local Crusher owners and building material suppliers, have kept their eyes shut so that the mining mafia can openly violate all rules for their personal gains.Every day hundreds of trucks and tippers transport the mining material outside the Union Territory and no one is ready to listen to the plight of local residents of J&K.“We are suffering since the BJP came in power, said Yogesh Sawhney former minister.” “Now it is very difficult for a common man in J&K to construct his house as major portion of mining material is being transported to other states”, he rued.
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