Srinagar: Senior National Conference leader and former MLA Kangan Mian Altaf Ahmed has sought the intervention of Union Road Minister Nitin Gadkari and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in directing the Zojila Tunnel construction company to give preference in jobs to local youth who are unemployed for years now.
"Not providing work to locals who are yearning for jobs is brewing resentment among the youth. Work should be provided to locals as per the norms as this is their right," Mian Altaf said.
"Locals of the area near the tunnel construction are mostly poor and dependent on tourism activities. The construction companies and the contractor should ensure that local unemployed youth are given preferences and engaged in the project as skilled and unskilled workers wherever required," Mian Altaf demanded.
He said the construction work on Zojila tunnel brought a ray of hope for the unemployed youth. They pinned hope that they would get job opportunities in construction work. “However, much to their disappointment only a small number of locals have been engaged in the Zojila tunnel construction work by the construction company as it engaged workers from outside,” he alleged.
"Be it any project, locals have always supported and contributed. It is a well-established norm that the locals are to be given priority in all projects," he added.
Mian Altaf castigated the Zojila tunnel construction company for violating the norms by engaging people mostly outsiders in the work.
He said that there are hundreds of youth, including engineering graduates who are unemployed and have the right to get engaged in tunnel work.
Mian Altaf said that the government must take action against the construction company for neglecting the local youth in the recruitment process.
“It has been a demand of local population across Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to have all-weather connectivity. The construction of Z Morh and Zojila tunnels will give philip to social and economic development.”