By Zaffar Iqbal
Jammu, Feb 25 (SocialNews.XYZ) People of Kotli Salal in Jammu and Kashmirs Reasi district, 75 kilometres from Jammu, are excited at the news of the discovery of vast deposits of lithium, hoping that this will change their fortunes and open new vistas for employment and prosperity.
Kotli Salal hit the headlines after the discovery of 5.9 million tonnes of lithium and became the focus of attention for people across the country.
"The teams have left after conducting surveys for two years. It was done with the help of drilling machines. The samples were sent to Lucknow for testing and now we have got the good news," Rajinder Singh, Naib Sarpanch of Kotli Salal, said.
He said the discovery of lithium in the area is certainly good news for the people as this will open new employment opportunities.
"After the NHPC power project was set up at Salal many years ago, this is the second major project that will come up in the area. It will trigger development and end unemployment."
Reasi district, also famous for being home to the world's highest railway bridge, now sees itself at the cusp of developmental activities with the world's second largest deposits of lithium becoming a potential game changer.
"I can't believe that lithium deposits have been found in our village. My excitement knew no limits when ministries and prominent officials tweeted about the same," a local villager of Salal Himnagar said.
"We are fortunate that such a big discovery has been made in our area. This is not a small project; it will be worth billions. Our village will sparkle due to this. Nobody from Salal Himnagar will remain unemployed anymore. A mineral that used to be imported from other countries will now be extracted from our village, what can be a bigger thing for me than this?"
Speaking to IANS HL Langeh, Joint Director Geology and Mining J&K, said the investigation was conducted by the Geological Survey of India which presented the report on February 9.
He said that the report has four stages - G1, G2, G3 and G4. He added the work has been completed for G4 and G3 stages and now G1 and G2 stages will be done for further investigation about the recovery and extraction of lithium.
"The aspect of technology will have to be looked into, whether the technology is available with us right now for recovering lithium," Lageth said.
He said the project for extraction of lithium will open up job opportunities for the locals.
"The project will have to pass through several stages including an environmental clearance from the ministry of environment, forest and climate change," he added.
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