Non-state subject gets mining license, Industries Minister Ganga under fire in Assembly

Pardeep Singh Bali

Assembly on Friday witnessed pandemonium after members from the Opposition and few MLAs from treasury benches cornered the government for taking the House Committee, constituted to check bidding on mineral excavation by non-state subjects in the state, ‘for granted’.

Soon after the beginning of the Question Hour, the members from the Opposition led By MLA Kulgam Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami stood up and created ruckus in the House blaming government for failing to uphold the order of the House. Tarigami informed the House that the Pollution Control Board (PCB) has issued NOC to one non local for taking up the mining project in Jammu despite House Committee deliberating the SRO 105 that was put on hold by the government.

“The SRO-105 was put on hold and a house committee was made to deliberate it. Even the controversial clauses from the New Industrial Policy were also withdrawn but yesterday the PCB has issued NOC and a mining order was granted to Mohan Pal Singh of Chandigarh over 40 hectares in two pockets in Ravi River by the Geology and Mining department which is clear disrespect to the House,” he said.

He said that the New Industrial Policy has been violated by the government by issuing mining order to one non-local. Tarigami was supported by the Independent Lawmaker Er Rashid and members of the National Conference who blamed the government for violating the House order.

Minister for R&B, Abdul Rehman Veeri on the behalf of the Government asked the protesting legislators to allow the concerned minister to speak on the issue. “Please maintain silence and allow the minister to clear his position,” he said. NC Legislator and MLA Sonawari Mohammad Akbar Lone demanded resignation from the Minister for Industries and Commerce (I&C) Chander Prakash Ganga and suspension order of two secretaries from PCB and I&C department.

He also sought privilege motion against the concerned minister. “Minister should resign on moral grounds besides the secretaries of both these departments including PCB and I&C should be placed under suspension. There should be privilege motion against the concerned minister. The government should immediate revoke the orders from PCB and I&FC,” he said.

Er Rashid also supported the NC legislator and sought resignation from the concerned minister. Meanwhile BJP legislator and MLA Kathua, Rajiv Jasrotia confronted the government and termed the order a ‘mockery’ of session. “Jammu and Kashmir High Court has put stay on SRO 105 on 22-04-2016 and the matter is sub-Judice. But on 12-05-2016, Geology and Mining department issues mining order in favour of one non-local which is clear violation to court order. Further despite House Committee framed, the PCB has ordered consent to operate which is a clear mockery of session,” he said.

Responding to the protesting legislators, Minister of Industries and Commerce Chander Prakash Ganga said he will examine the matter. He assured that the government will take strict action against the guilty officers.  “Honestly the matter has not yet come to my notice. But I assure you that I will examine it and a strict action will be taken against the violators,” he said.

Minister for Revenue and Relief and Rehabilitation also joined in and asked the Minister to take immediate action against the officers responsible for the orders. Meanwhile Speaker Kavinder Gupta observed that the chair has been disrespected by the officers responsible for the order adding that the officers should be suspended with immediate effect.

“Didn’t the officers hear the announcement of putting SRO 105 on hold then? Officers have taken House non serious. The government shall place the officers under suspension and action should be taken against them,” he said. Deputy Speaker Nazir Gurezi also demanded suspension of accused officers.

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