“All the relevant records, provided by the different authorities, have been forwarded to the district administration which are clearly reflecting Illegal stone crushers are running in district Poonch, but no action has been taken till date”
Amid mushroom growth of ‘illegal’ stone crushers in Poonch, the concerned authorities continue to share ‘contradictory’ reports pertaining to the number of these crushers. The rampantly running crushers are posing a grave threat to both the environment and the government’s revenue. Despite the administration’s purported efforts and court directives, the clandestine operations of these crushers persist, raising concerns about the nexus responsible for concealing crucial information.
According to highly reliable sources, the District Magistrate’s office, the Mining Department, and the Pollution Control Board have all given conflicting statements in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application, exposing administrative inconsistencies.
“The Pollution Control Board’s data indicates that 21 stone crushers are currently operational in District Poonch, with a staggering 7 of them being illegal. Out of the illicit crushers, legal notices have been served to 2, while the operating licenses for 11 others have already expired. In stark contrast, the office of the District Magistrate claims that only 12 stone crushers are in operation, while the Mining Department reports a count of 15 active crushers,” maintained the sources, quoting the replies.
They added that these discrepancies have raised suspicions about the authenticity of the information provided and have prompted questions about a potential collusion to withhold accurate data. The motive behind such concealment remains elusive.
Sources, sharing the official documents, informed that these documents from different authorities evidently expose the presence of illegal stone crushers. Despite these findings, no concrete action has been taken thus far.
They expressed bewilderment at the audacity of these rogue elements who continue their activities under the nose of the administration, hinting at potential political backing.
“Specifically, a list of illegal stone crushers has been identified, M/S 79 RCC GREF stone crusher ( Balnoi, Mendhar), M/S 79 RCC GREF stone crusher( Drungli Nallah Poonch), M/S Ghulam Nabi Mir contractor Stone Crusher and Hot Mix Plant, M/S 79 RCC GREF Stone Crusher ( Khanetar, Haveli Poonch), M/S 79 RCC GREF Stone Crusher( Sankh Doda, Mandi Poonch), M/S Dharamraj Construction Company ( 3Nos. Portable Stone Crushers), Surankote- Bufliaz road and other crushers whose time period expired are; M/S Masood Ahmed stone crusher, M/S Diwan Stone Crusher, M/S SSWK stone crusher, M/S Ghai stone crusher, M/S SK stone crusher, M/S Singh stone crusher, M/S Bharat stone crusher, M/S Patel Engineering Ltd, M/S Himalayan stone crusher, M/S Hilal Stone Crusher Hot Mix Plant ( Stone Crusher only), M/S Chesti Enterprises Stone Crusher,” shared the sources, adding that the pressing question remains whether the concerned authorities will take cognizance of this information and initiate a thorough investigation into these allegations.
Sources stated that many are skeptical, given the perceived inaction of the mining department and the apparent influence of the mining mafia.
“All the relevant records, provided by the different authorities, have been forwarded to the district administration which are clearly reflecting Illegal stone crushers are running in district Poonch, but no action has been taken till date,” said sources.
Sources further informed that a written complaint regarding this matter has been lodged with Pollution Control Board (PCB) and chairman has assured prompt action will be taken.
When contacted Regional Director PCB, Sat Paul Pakhru said that he has provided latest list of the number of stone crushers.
“I can justify contradictory numbers of my department, as information was provided at different period of time,” he said and added that he doesn’t know why other agencies have provided contrary records.
When asked despite having record of illegal stone crushers, why the same have not been closed so far, Chairman PCB said that enforcement lies within the domain of district administration.
Despite repeated attempts, Deputy Commissioner, Poonch Ch. Mohd. Yasin could not be contacted.