Srinagar, Jan 16: The residents of Khanmouh’s Gujjar Basti oppose the proposed construction of a cement factory at Sekinar citing environmental and health concerns.
They said they have been suffering a lot because of the cement factories already operational in their area.
“We have so many cement factories in our area that the flora and fauna has been completely destroyed. We don’t want further pollution in our area,” said a resident Mohammad Raqib Khan.
Khan said the construction of cement factory would affect around 55 households.
“The construction will also have adverse effects on the animal species present at Dachigam National Park,” he said.
The residents said the students studying at Sekinar High School located just a 100 metres from the factory site would be the worst-hit.
“In the school, around 150 students stand enrolled. Once the factory is started, it will cause serious health complications to the students,” they said.
They said that in case the permission was granted, the government should take measures for their rehabilitation.
“We should be provided land at suitable place, so that we can live safely. We have been living at Sekinar for years,” they said.
The owner of the proposed cement company, Basharat Ahmad Ganie, said there was no threat of pollution.
“Today, we have the latest technology available to reduce the chances of pollution,” he said.
He said 98 per cent of the residents were in favour of constructing the cement factory.
“A public hearing was conducted by the Pollution Control Board along with the district administration. If someone had objections, he should have raised them in the meeting,” he said.
Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Srinagar, Masrat Hashmi, said he would look into the matter.
“They should come to come, we will see what can be done,” he said.