‘We are being deprived of our livelihood’
Srinagar, Feb 1, KNT: Sand diggers continue to stage protest in different parts of Kashmir Valley against what they said an attempt on part of the government to disallow them from extracting sand from the River Jehlum.
Sand diggers assembled in various parts of Valley including Rajbagh Karsoo, Awantipora, Lelhar, Pampore, Sumbal and rued the government decision of awarding contract to a company. They said the government has given the contract to a company; the measure of out sourcing the process has hit them badly. “Given the fact that J&k is already brimming with unemployment and widespread disenchantment among the people as a consequence of it, the measure will push them to wall. On one hand the incumbent administration is making much bravado about investment and employment generation in the same vein it is bent upon to disturb the livelihood of scores of manual labors. The labors could not think of switching their jobs at this juncture,” the protesters told KNT. The tourism and its allied activities too failed to pick
The protesters said that they are concerned over the plight of their families. “The government should redress the woes of people associated with manual sand extraction. It is for the government to find a way out. Government is duty bound to ensure that the affected families don’t have to suffer from impoverishment,” they said.
They said that the use of machines is snatching their livelihood. ‘We are poor people and this is clearly affecting our families particularly our children’s studies. We want a blanket ban on the use of machines and the contract allotted to an outside company should be declared null and void as it has been allotted online when internet was suspended across Kashmir Valley,” the protesters said.
The protesters said that even Irrigation and Flood Control Department is against the use of machinery and yet these machines are being used, which pose great risk to the river embankments