How political change is pushing up the price of sand in Jammu and Kashmir - ALL Jobs News

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Monday, 7 September 2020

How political change is pushing up the price of sand in Jammu and Kashmir

This year, sand mining in Jammu and Kashmir has become a dangerous and costly business.

“The truck of sand is delivered to us at night,” said a sand contractor on the outskirts of Srinagar who identified himself only as Ahmad. “There is always the danger of the police seizing the vehicle.”

The business has gone underground after the authorities last year belatedly implemented rules notified in 2016 for the extraction of all minor minerals, including sand and gravel from riverbeds. Among other changes, the new rules made it compulsory for miners to obtain environmental clearances before starting mining operations.

But many miners are flouting the rules, contractors say. The risk involved in illegal mining is driving up the costs, they claim.

They also cite another reason why sand is becoming more expensive: the miners are no longer locals.

“Now, a Kashmiri is buying Kashmir’s own sand from a non-local extractor at a higher price,” complained a sand extractor from Ganderbal in Central Kashmir. “Then after adding his labour and other charges, he sells it to a Kashmiri customer at the increased price.”

A new landscape

Two separate processes – one, environmental, the other, political – have come together to produce a vastly altered landscape in Jammu and Kashmir for the extraction...

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