There have been strange protests in Kashmir in the past few weeks as lot of sand diggers took to streets in different places of valley against the recent decision of the government to e-auction and allot hundreds of sand blocks right from Qazigund to Uri to different non local contractors. Local contractors along with sand diggers have alleged that they were rendered without jobs and the means of survival by such move of the government. They have appealed authorities to rethink about their decision and have fresh tendering process so that the locals can also apply as they have alleged that the entire process was completed during the peak of internet shutdown in Kashmir.
The government officials maintain that while the majority of sand was being extracted manually but in the past several years, some big business houses were using money and muscle power to use machines in the river beds for quick gains.
In the year 2019, District Development Commissioner of Srinagar issued an order to all the concerned wings of the government to stop all mining in river Jhelum. After e-tendering process would be completed, the contractors will have to get environmental clearance from UT administration before starting any work.
The local contactors of sand in Kashmir contradict the government claim and say that it was a conspiracy to bring outsiders in this business.
Although few local contractors have been able to apply and compete but most of the sand blocks have gone to the outsiders and with ban on of the extraction of the sand, there has been a crises for the construction work as the contractors have started selling the sand at exorbitant prices.