Srinagar, July 10: After bricks were sold for exorbitant prices this year by kiln owners, the Budgam district administration woke up today after this week’s Excelsior story and has said it would not allow the overloading of bricks and raw materials.
The bricks are sold between 28,000 Rs and 31,000 Rs for 3,000 while the government had set the price at Rs 21,000.
There are over 300 brick kilns in Kashmir including around 250 in the central Kashmir district of Budgam and according to a conservative estimate around 30 million bricks are sold daily these days. By this estimate, brick kiln owners overcharge Rs 10 Crore from customers daily these days.
An official who was part of setting the rate for bricks told Excelsior that on average the cost of making 3,000 bricks in just Rs 9,000. âWe had fixed rates of Rs 21,000 taking into account the profits, taxes and losses that the furnace owners sometimes suffer, âhe said.
Budgam Development Commissioner Shahbaz Ahmed Mirza, who is also Chairman of the District Level Working Group (DLTFC) Committee with SSP Budgam Tahir Saleem, today called a meeting to have first-hand status on violations, illegal extraction of minerals, illegal mining, overloading on bricks and violation of rates set for raw materials and processed minerals.
A statement posted here said the meeting also took stock of measures taken against those involved in illegal mining and brick overloading, in addition to the demolition of previously notified illegal brick kilns was also discussed. .
âDuring the meeting, the DC once again emphatically reiterated that the initiative / impetus launched by the district administration in active support to other stakeholders has a clear resolution and objective to stem the threat of illegal extractions of minerals from blocks auctioned across the district, already notified in various areas, âthe statement said.
“The DC ordered the Budgam District Minerals Officer to keep in touch with the affected MDSs, Tehsildars and SHOs when needed, in addition to running joint enforcement teams who, when informed, can take results-oriented actions on the spot, âhe said.
The DC said there would be no leniency or late approach from those affected during these emergencies. He said that any failure to carry out the instructions can have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the officer concerned.
DC further ordered ADC Dr. Nasir Ahmad to review the status of the illegal brick kiln demolition.
He said that, as already notified, 36 brick kilns across the district were found to be operating without authorization, not following and respecting all required parameters and guidelines and therefore the demolition process should be started immediately.
In addition, he also ordered to take all necessary measures against those involved in overcharging and violating the standards of tariffs set for raw materials, processed minerals and loads of bricks, to file FIRs wherever necessary. necessary, to sanction offenders, seize vehicles and confiscate them in accordance with the rule.