Under environmental pretext Houthis force the closure of rock crushers in Hamedan
The Houthis have closed a number of rock crushers located in Hamedan district, northwest of the capital Sanaa, on the grounds that they violate environmental laws and have a devastating impact on the environment. Media affiliated with the Houthis said that the Geological Survey and Mineral Resources Authority closed 11 rock crushing businesses, which produce mainly gravel, for in the area of Dhela’a Hamedan and its vicinity, which according to Houthi authorities, have been "working for decades in violation of the law of mines and quarries."
Sources added that the crushers are not licensed, do not comply with environmental requirements, and that they have "caused devastating environmental impacts not only on the climate, but also on human and animal health, as well as soil, agriculture and water in their areas of presence."
Local sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Al-Masdar online, that the campaign comes after the owners refused the Houthis’ newly imposed taxes which ask for 4000 Yemeni Riyals per meter on gravel. The Houthis threaten the closure of any crushing business that refuses to pay.
According the sources, the Houthis were carrying out the campaign in Hamedan district of Sana'a and Bajel in Hodeidah at the same time.
One crushing business owner said "We were selling the meter for 4000 riyals, and now they charge the same amount in taxes in which case we either dig them up and get out of our pockets, or raise our prices to 8000 YR per meter"
The Houthi campaign on "crushers" is no similer to the previous campaigns targeting traders and investors in their areas of control. Recently, the campaign that targeted money transfer companies forced many to stop working for a day, before returning to work the next day after the owners of these companies began complying with the and agreed to pay the Houthis higher tax rates.