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Mining in insecure Nangarhar areas goes unsupervised

Mining in insecure Nangarhar areas goes unsupervised

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Nov 25, 2017 - 18:25

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Mines and petroleum director for Nangarhar province on Saturday said they could not supervise natural resources in the eastern province due to insecurity.

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Eng. Sayed Saleh Shinwari, said he had requested cooperation from district chiefs and security officials in preventing the riches from being plundered, but none of them took any action.

Deposits of minerals including marbles, slate, nephrite and fluorite exist in Goshta, Achin, Haska Mina, Nazian, Dur Baba and Sherzad districts, all insecure areas, he said.

Shinwri said a primary survey of the mines in Nangarhar was conducted years ago but no details of the survey were made available.

Currently only the slate mine – located in Sherzad district -- is legally extracted by 16 contractors, Shinwari said.

He said 20 slate processing factories had been opened in Nangarhar, employing hundreds of people.

Shinwari had no information about mines in other districts whether they were illegally extracted or not. He said they could not supervise mines in insecure areas.

“We only receive information about mines’ situation from district officials once in one month or two months,” he said, adding supervision of legal extraction of mines was also limited.

“The contractors agreed with us in all areas such as environmentinfo-icon protection and helping local people, we have not received any complaints from them so far, we personally cannot visit the mines under extraction,” he said.

Meanwhile, governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, said the mines and petroleum department had branches in all districts and it should supervise natural resources through its branches.

Police spokesman, Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal, said they were cooperating with the mines and petroleum department.

“There is no illegal extraction of mines in areas where police posts exist. Border police forces also help and prevent trafficking of mines,” he said.

He said police had several times arrested smugglers of minerals and had paraded them before media.

However, there are rumors that militants also get benefit from the extraction of the slate mine in Nangarhar.

mds/ma

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