The cement industries owned by influential persons are devastating Khrew town’s fragile environment, locals said.
“Most pollution is emanating from Cemtac Cements and JK Cements. There is complete violation of norms. People are dying because of pollution. We are not able to come out of homes because of dust and smoke,” Nisar Ahmad, General Secretary Civil Society Khrew told KNS.
He accused the Pollution Control Board for giving free hand to cement factories to pollute the environment in the area.
“If you go to the Chest Disease Hospital, you will find that 90 percent patients are from Khrew. This is because of the cement factories,” Nisar added.
Ghulam Mohammad, a local resident said, “These factories have devastated our green forestland, agriculture land which was our livelihood; and deforestation has become the daily routine in the Khrew area. We have lost our health, because they are not using all the proper equipments which can control the dust or pollution.”
He said around a dozen odd cement factories operate in brazen violation of the norms and cause huge pollution.“We carried out protest demonstrations many times against pollution and demand our rights but adversely affecting us,” he said.
The locals said a major portion of the forest compartments in the Bathen Khrew had virtually vanished and subsequently were being encroached upon and converted for their business purposes by these influential people.
Member Secretary of the PCB said that pollution is witnessed everywhere in industrial areas.
“The State Pollution Control Board and Central Pollution Control Board have written to the cement factories to minimize the pollution level by installing latest equipments. It is not possible to control the pollution immediately,” secretary told KNS.
However, he said that PCB will look into it how to reduce the pollution level. (KNS)