The local administration has sealed as many as thirteen stone crushers for illegally quarrying lime stone in Babarki Pathargarh area of Hassanabdal causing serious threat to environment, sensitive installations and minerals and causing loss of millions of rupees to national kitty through expired lease. Deputy Commissioner Ishrat Ullah Khan Niazi along with Assistant commissioner, assistant director mines and minerals and officials of environment protection agency visited the site of stone crushers’ plant area comprising 46.03 acres and ordered immediate suspension of illegally quarrying in the area.
“An FIR has also been lodged under section 337 PPC against the owner of a stone crusher plant for violation of the ban imposed by the administration”. He added. “We have sealed all the thirteen stone crushing plants working in vicinity of Babarki area of Hassanabdal on Friday besides blocked the access to these plants by establishing obstacles so that no production could go out of the premises besides the IESCO authorities are being directed to suspend power supply to these plants without any further delay.” Said Assistant commissioner Adnan Anjum Raja while talking to newsmen here on Friday. He said that the local administration with collaboration of other relevant authorities like civil defense, mines and mineral department would also carry out audit of the explosive licenses of these stone crushers as these stone crushing plants are quarrying on expired explosive licenses.
Mr Raja said that Punjab Mines and Minerals department has auctioned the lime stone block comprising 46.03 acres during the year 2006. He said that the ten year lease of quarrying was expired during the year 2016 but said lease holders went to court for stay for lease which was decided in year 2017 and assistant director Mines and minerals Attock has stopped the said stone crushers for quarrying of line stone but they kept continued their activities although issuance of no objection certificate (NOC) is still pending with Environment protection agency (EPA) Punjab. Responding another question, Mr Raja said that deputy commissioner Ishrat Ullah Khan Niazi has constituted a four member committee comprising Assistant commissioner, assistant director mines and minerals, Survey and drawing officer Mines and minerals department Rawalpindi and surveyor mines and minerals department Attock to access the quantum of loss caused to government on account of illegal excavations of lime stone in the area.
Mr Raja said that local administration has also taken stock of persons with dubious identity who are carrying out mining activities as well as explosives in vicinity of cadet college Hassanabdal. “The principal of college has also expressed his reservation over the activities and taken the issue to the governor.” He added. Responding another question, Mr Raja said that keeping in view the sensitivity of the area of nearest to sensitive installation of Cadet college and threat to eco system as well as environment, the Punjab Mines and minerals department has already stopped the auction of limestone lease in the area and local administration would adopt zero tolerance policy towards this issue and no stone crusher plant would be allowed to operate in the area.