Illegal scrap collectors have sprung up in earthquake-ravaged areas of Pakistani Kashmir to pull iron rods from the debris in defiance of a six-month ban, and local officials said Tuesday they would crack down on the new industry.
The local government in Pakistan's
portion of Kashmir banned any private trade in debris for six months following the huge Oct. 8 earthquake, which wiped out entire villages and flattened large portions of the region's cities. Army teams are clearing most of the debris in the meantime.
Soldiers said Tuesday they have chased away scrap dealers in areas where army teams are using bulldozers to clear rubble, but that they cannot police the entire city or stop dealers from scavenging during the evenings.