40 stone crusher units closed for want of clearance

NURPUR: As many as 40 stone crusher units in Nurpur subdivision were closed four days ago, for want of requisite permission to crush their legalised stock of raw material (hard stones) from the state geologist.

Rajiv Mahajan

NURPUR, JULY 19

As many as 40 stone crusher units in Nurpur subdivision were closed four days ago, for want of requisite permission to crush their legalised stock of raw material (hard stones) from the state geologist.

The sudden closure of these units have not only rendered hundreds of people jobless for the time being, but have also adversely hit the ongoing construction activities in lower Kangra district.

Sources said most of the stone crushers were without environment clearance certificates, mandatory to set up stone crushing industry. In the absence of these certificates, the units can neither produce construction material nor sell the same.

The state government had been granting six months’ permission to exhaust the remaining stock of raw material, procured legally by paying royalty to the state exchequer through state geologist.

Sources said the crushing units which failed to exhaust the raw material stock within the stipulated period had further applied for the requisite approval but they did not get it, forcing them to close their units after the expiry of their previous approval.

Owners of the closed crushers said they had applied to the State Experts Appraisal Committee through Department of Environment, Science and Technology for environment clearance certificates a few months ago and their cases were still under consideration.

In this connection, JK Puri, Kangra District Mining Officer, said he was conducting surprise checks at unauthorised crushing units in the area which had no further approval and was taking action against violators. Only 12 out of 50 stone crushers had environment clearance certificates in Nurpur subdivision, whereas the remaining units had legalised raw material but no approval to do crushing activities, he stated.

Meanwhile, after the sudden closure of crushers, a lot of gap between the demand and supply of construction material is being witnessed in the area. Also, units set up in neighbouring Punjab had started brisk trading by selling their produce in Himachal Pradesh at exorbitant rates and consumers were forced to buy the products.

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