Polluting Stone Crushers|2000 labourers working with BRO to be out of job

Weeks after the authorities seized a hot mixing and a stone crusher plant of the Border Road Organisation (BRO) in Uri for “unauthorised operation”, the BRO has asked hundreds of labourers and foremen to stop working with the organisation.

The decision is likely to hit around 2000 labourers working with the organisation for the past more than three decades.

“The move will hit us badly. Our families will be worst affected due to the decision,” said Firdous Ahmad, a labourer working with BRO in Uri.

Acknowledging the seizure of the BRO plants two months back, an official of the Pollution Control Board (PCB) said that the BRO was running these plants unauthorisedly without following the criteria set for running such plants.

District Officer PCB Baramulla Irshad Ahmad said both the hot mix and the stone crusher plants of the BRO had neither PCB’s NOC nor any permission to run such plants.

“The plants are located in populated areas. They don’t have permission to run such a plant. Besides, both the plants are not following the prescribed criteria like devices and measures to operate such plants. As such they have been seized,” he said.

Sub Divisional Magistrate Uri Riyaz Ahmad said that the plants were seized after they received communication from the PCB that the plants were operating while violating the norms set by the authorities.

The decision to close the plants has prompted the BRO to disengage thousands of labourers, some of who have been working with the organisation for the past three decades.

The aggrieved labourers on Monday staged a protest against the BRO and demanded immediate withdrawal of the decision which is likely to hit them badly.

The protesting labourers later met the Sub Divisional Magistrate Uri and apprised him of the problem.

Ahmad assured them of taking up the matter with BRO.

“The matter has been taken up with the officials of BRO and issue will be resolved soon,” he said.

The hot mix and stone crusher plants of BRO in Uri are important units for the development and construction of important strategic roads as well as development of roads connecting far-flung areas of Uri with the district headquarters.

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