The Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Council Chairman has informally invited Pune companies to explore the possibility of extracting granite and limestone in Kargil district which has vast reserves of these natural stones.
Haji Anayat Ali, who hails from Kargil district in the Ladakh region of the border state, recently met members of the Pune-based Marble & Tile Association and invited them to explore the possibility of mining granite and limestone.
According to official documents, the Department of Geology & Mining, by way of geological investigations, has established presence of 102.7 million cubic metres of granite reserves in Manjigund, Shilkchay, Channingund, Bhimbat and Kharbu areas of Kargil district.
The department also explored and established 36.7 million tonnes of limestone reserves at Matian Drass and Mulbuk areas of the district.
"A huge deposit of good quality granite and limestone has been established in Kargil district. However, in absence of adequate infrastructure and road connectivity in the area, extraction of granite and limestone from these huge reserves has become a difficult task," he told PTI over phone.
"If some big players, who have hands-on experience in granite and limestone extraction, come to the state and do the extraction, it would generate huge employment for the locals. This will also give a major boost to the state's economy.
Ali said he was in the city recently and met the association members and invited them in his personal capacity to explore the possibility of extracting granite and limestone in his home district.
"These natural resources can be the game changer for the state if extracted properly with a proper long-term planning," the Legislative Council Chairman added.
"The Government of J&K will come up with a bidding process and auction of the blocks will take place as per the set norms," the MLC said.
"In light of the availability of huge deposits of granite, there is ample scope for setting up of a granite processing, cutting, finishing plant in the district with the help of some professional private players," he said.
The meeting between Ali and association members was facilitated by a city-based organisation, Sarhad Foundation, last month.
Association President Sohan Jhuria confirmed the request made by Ali and said they will have take follow up action on it.
"We have been told that the granite deposits (in Kargil district) are of good quality. We are scheduled to go to J&K in May for an inspection.
"We have the expertise and infrastructure needed for extraction of such reserves and we are ready to go through the bidding process as per the government norms," said Jhuria.
He said it would be a matter of pride if their association gets a chance to bring some constructive change in the lives of J&K people.
The association has over 180 members and currently it is involved in mining activities in Odisha and Rajasthan.