Kupwara: At least 17 lakh metric tonnes of lignite and high quality marble deposits are available in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
According to the Geology and Mining Department (G&M), Kupwara district has huge potential in the industrial sector and thermal power generation, as there are around 17 lakh metric tonnes major mineral deposits available in different areas of the frontier district.
District Mineral Officer (DMO) Kupwara, Shujat Ahmad Qureshi said that, as per the data available with the G&M Department, 9 lakh metric tonnes lignite deposits are available at Nichahama and Hangnikkot areas of the district, and have huge potential of thermal power generation.
He said that at Awoora and Zirhama, there are 8 lakh metric tonnes high quality marble deposits, which can revive the industrial sector and can provide ample employment opportunities in the district.
Qureshi said Geology and Mining Department had seized 440 vehicles including heavy earth moving machines used in illegal mining and transportation of raw material from different areas of Kupwara district during the financial year 2022-23.
He said that a fine of Rs 60 lakh had been realised from the violators (owners of seized vehicles), besides seizing raw material worth Rs 20 lakh.
Qureshi said that on the directions of Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kupwara, Doifode Sagar Dattatray, he, along with his team launched a crackdown in different areas of Kupwara district to curb the illegal mining and its transportation.
He said that all of his staff had been put on alert to monitor illegal mining in the district.
Qureshi warned the offenders to desist from the illegal extraction of minor minerals, adding that stern action under rules would be taken against them.
He said the vehicles were seized under Mines and Minerals Act, 1957, under Section 21 delegated under the J&K Minor Mineral Concession, storage, transportation of minerals and prevention of illegal mining rules 2016 issued vide SRO 105 of 2016.
Qureshi said that the rate fixation of raw materials in the district had already been accorded and sale and purchase of minor minerals was being done online through www.geologymining.jk.gov.in, besides, rates have been notified which are available on different portals of Geology and Mining Department.
He said that the ordinary sand (meshed) at source would cost Rs 28 per cft, nallah bajri at Rs 16 per cft, nallah boulders at Rs 6 per cft, nallah mukh (GSB) at Rs 4 per cft, ordinary clay at Rs 3 per cft, crushed bajri (10 mm) at Rs 23 per cft, crushed bajri (40 mm) at Rs 18.50 per cft and crusher dust at Rs 25 per cft.
Qureshi said that in case the mineral concessionary or mineral dealer licensee demanded extra rate, people can contact DMO Kupwara, accordingly such offenders would be fined under the law.
He said there were 24 e-auctioned blocks in Kupwara district of which 14 were functional leased-out blocks while the rest 10 were under process.