Saderkoot village votes for lifting ban on stone quarries

“Our sole motivation for voting is to have the ban on stone quarries lifted,” Tariq Ahmad Ganai of Malpora, Saderkoot said outside a polling booth.
“Our sole motivation for voting is to have the ban on stone quarries lifted,” Tariq Ahmad Ganai of Malpora, Saderkoot said outside a polling booth. Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Bandipora: The Saderkoot villagers of Bandipora in north Kashmir, who rely heavily on businesses associated with carving stones, voted to elect a candidate who had promised to help them get the ban on stone quarries lifted.

The villagers have long protested the ban, claiming that they have been forced to do odd jobs to feed their families while the job for which they had unrivalled skill was snatched from them.

“Our sole motivation for voting is to have the ban on stone quarries lifted,” Tariq Ahmad Ganai of Malpora, Saderkoot said outside a polling booth.

“We have lost our jobs. Many families don’t have two meals to eat and there is no one to talk about this issue. Our livelihood was dependent on the quarries.”

Another youth Aijaz Ahmad said, “The government departments employ only about 1 to 2 percent of the village’s population and more than 80 to 90 percent of the population solely relies on stone quarries.”

He said that the ban on the quarries in 2019 had left people and families high and dry.

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