Dharamsala, September 10
The ban on mining imposed by the state government in the Beas river basin and the closure of over 129 stone crushers in the state, including 82 in Kangra district, has generated political heat.
BJP leaders have termed the government decision to close stone crushers as selective, while Congress leaders are alleging that it was during the previous BJP regime that the mining mafia flourished in the state.
Sanjay Sharma, co-media incharge of the state BJP, said, “Some stone crushers owned by the families or relatives of those holding top positions in the state are being allowed to function while others have been closed. The sudden closure of all stone crushers in the Kangra region has led to a steep hike in the prices of construction material,” he added.
Bikram Thakur, former Industries Minister and BJP MLA from Jaswan Pragpur, alleged that many MLAs owned stone crushers, but the government had taken selective action. While the stone crushers of other people had been closed, those owned by the ruling party MLAs were still functioning. He said all stone crushers should be closed as the natural calamity had hit almost all parts of the state.
Meanwhile, RS Bali, chairman of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation and Nagrota Bagwan MLA, has criticised Bikram’s statement. He said it was unfortunate that a senior BJP leader like Bikram was trying to protect the mining mafia.
“The maximum damage has been caused in the Beas river basin area in Mandi, Kullu and Kangra districts. In Kangra district, the people of Indora, Fatehpur and Jawali have blamed illegal mining by stone crusher owners for damage to their houses,” he added.
Bali said the CM had taken a bold step by banning mining in the Beas basin that was leading to an ecological imbalance in the state. No other CM had ever taken such a step, he said.
- Bikram Thakur, BJP MLA from Jaswan Pragpur, alleged that many MLAs owned stone crushers, but the government had taken selective action.
- Criticising Bikram’s statement, RS Bali, Nagrota Bagwan MLA, said it was unfortunate that a senior BJP leader like Bikram was trying to protect the mining mafia.
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