|Early Times Report|
jammu, Feb 26: Though the latest government regulations have dispensed away the requirement of a license to start operation of stone crushers or wet mixing plants coupled with the repealing of SRO-302 but 28 stone crushers closed in the year 2018 in district Kathua for SRO-302 violation have yet to restart operations due to new formalities for again getting operationalized.
The UT administration on 23rd of February issued a notification titled Jammu and Kashmir Stone Crushers/Hot and Wet Mixing Plants Regulation Rules 2021, according to which there is no requirement of a license to start operations of stone crushers/hot and wet Mixing plants in Jammu and Kashmir. The notification was seen in context of the government's resolve to promote "Ease of Doing Business" by creating a business-friendly environment.
The concluding paragraph of rules titled "Repeal and Savings" reads, "The Jammu and Kashmir Minor Mineral Exploitation and Processing Rules, 2017 issued vide Notification SRO-302 of 2017 dated 19/07/2017 shall stand repealed". It further reads, "Notwithstanding such repeal, nothing in these rules shall affect validity, effect of consequence of anything done or suffer to be done under the said law, rule or order before the date on which these rules come into force".
"It was the same SRO-302 according to which 28 Stone crushers operating in village Keerian Gandial of district Kathua were closed down by the administration in October 2018. For the last more than two years, we have been bearing the brunt of the closure and securing losses on account of no sales, depreciation of machinery and vehicles. If the SRO-302 is repealed then automatically we can start operations but the new guidelines have created other obstacles", an owner of a closed stone crusher informed.
The stone crusher operators said that as per new guidelines of 2021, to start a stone crusher, consent from Pollution Control Board, No Objection Certificate from Deputy Commissioner concerned regarding the verification of land and its usage is required. "Those closed under SRO-302 had NOC from concerned Tehsildar regarding verification of land and its usage, while all of them had consent from Pollution Control Board and had completed other formalities. Despite repealing of SRO-302, we are technically not able to restart operations as we lack NOC of DC, while those operating under SRO-302, would continue their operations as they have the DC's NOC", the stone crusher operators said.
They further said that by putting a clause of NOC from DC, the obstacle to start the operations of crusher would remain, which was denying the permission to closed stone crusher to restart operations. "Government should also explicitly make it clear about procedure to get NOC from DC, so that there would be no bureaucratic hurdles to start stone crushers", they said, adding that they have been incurring losses for the last two years and still unaware for how many more months, they would have to wait to restart operations.
An official of Geology and Mining pleading anonymity said that as per new guidelines also the closed stone crushers in district Kathua for violation of SRO-302 would not be able to start operations in absence of DC's NOC.