GUWAHATI, July 11 - The forest department is creating two new stone quarries in Kamrup West Division this week, in a move which is expected to ease the crisis of construction materials in and around Guwahati within a few days’ time. The quarries are located at Dakhin Mandakata. The available quantity in these two quarries will be around 2 lakh cubic metres. “We have already obtained the mining plan and environmental impact assessment (EIA) report from the authorities. The administration is also likely to give the blasting permission today itself, following which operations at the quarries will start,” a forest official said.
The forest department is not leasing out the quarries to mahaldars. Instead, it has asked the Public Works Department (PWD) to recommend names of “big contractors” who can operate them. “The PWD has given us two names. We have given them the permits. These contractors will operate the quarries,” the official said.
According to the PWD, the requirement of stone chips for the stalled projects in and around Guwahati is around 2 lakh cubic metres.
Besides, the forest department is also creating five new quarries at Chandrapur.
“Action has been taken for obtaining ‘No Objection Certificate’ and EIA clearance from the district authorities. The stone that will be available after operation of these five mahals will be approximately 5 lakh cm.
“In addition, twelve quarries inside reserve forests have been settled in favour of various tenderers and they will be sent to the Regional Office of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change located at Shillong for forest clearance. The available quantity will be approximately 6 lakh cm. Another 23 stone and sand gravel quarries are being advertised for sale for operation,” the official said.
Shortage of stone chips has hit construction activity in and around Guwahati. The PWD says projects of nearly Rs 450 crore have come to a standstill due to the shortage. Price of chips has shot up from Rs 1,400 per cubic metre (cm) to around Rs 2,800 per cm in two months.