Earlier this year, in “Mining our business”, I’d explained why it would be unlawful for the government to permit L&T, Gammon and HCC to operate stone quarries for the Punatshangchhu hydropower project.
I don’t know for sure, but it looks like L&T, Gammon and HCC are now not operating the stone quarries. That is very good.
But what I do know for sure is that L&T, Gammon and HCC have each established stone crushing plants. That is bad. And that is illegal.
Stone crushing is a specific business, one that requires a separate industrial license, and one that is not open for foreign direct investment. Added to that, the lucrative business is surely outside the scope of the construction contract packages that L&T, Gammon and HCC have with the Punatsangchhu hydropower project.
So why have they been allowed to establish their own stone crushing plants?
I’ve written to the minister for economic affairs alerting him that the plants in question may be unlawful.