Crescent Kashmir

Sand blocks

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In the recent past rivers of Kashmir have been in news for sand extraction. Recently, protests were ignited in various parts of Kashmir by local sand diggers alleging that the authorities have auctioned sand blocks on internet during the peak of internet shutdown.

They have alleged that there is sinister design against them as thousands of families in Kashmir are purely surviving on the extraction of sand business. Thousands of laborers in Kashmir valley from South to North Kashmir have protested for a recent decision by UT administration as it has e-auctioned hundreds sand blocks along the river Jhelum and other its tributaries and the contracts have been given to non locals.

Most of the protesters in river Sindh bed in district Ganderbal have been protesting and have contacted local media that such action of the government by giving contracts to outsiders has left them jobless. There are thousands of laborers connected with sand extraction in Ganderbal district and most of them have developed a perception that they have been rendered jobless.

Similarly local contractors of sand in Ganderbal district have claimed that they were not given any level playing field by authorities to bid during the e-auctions as they were conducted according to them during the peak of internet shutdown and the locals could not compete. Since Jammu and Kashmir has been reduced to a Union Territory, this is the first issue which has cropped up as a local issue for the survival of thousand so families who have only this source of income to sustain their families.

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