Demanding an end to pollution from cement factories and illegal mining in the area, hundreds of residents of Khrew in Pulwama district protested and held a strike for a third consecutive day.
The residents took to streets and staged a sit-in on the main road near the cement factories. They protested against the factory owners and demanded installation of pollution control devices. They were also demanding end to illegal mining and deforestation near the factories.
“There are seven cement factories operating in the area and only five of them have a mining lease,” protesters said. “The factory owners were supposed to spend two per cent of project cost on the safety and welfare of the local people, but not a single factory owner is doing that.”
When contacted, Member Secretary JK State Pollution Control Board, Javed Iqbal Panzoo, assured quick action, saying: “We will send a team to the area to verify about the complaints by the people. If there is any kind of illegal work or any illegal mining, stern action will be taken against the involved factory owners. We will not even hesitate to close down such factories.”