Villagers in Uri seek shifting of stone crushing plant

GK Photo

Residents of Dawaran village in border town of Uri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district have demanded shifting of the stone crushing plant set-up near the village by the Beacon authorities which, they said, was taking a heavy toll on their health.

“We have been requesting the concerned officials for the last many months to shift the crushing plant from this spot as it was causing pollution and increasing health concerns in the area,” said Rashida Begum, the sarpanch of Dawaran village.

“Most of the elders and minors have been involved in respiratory illness amid coronavirus pandemic. We are suffering immensely,” she said adding, “The entire village had earlier boycotted the ‘Back to Village’-3 program and were later assured of immediate redressal of the issue.”

Ex-sarpanch of the village, Abdul Ahad Mangral said that they have lost this year’s agricultural productions completely to the crushing plant. “No fruits have grown in our orchards this year and we have nothing to sell in the market. We are facing loss in crores of rupees,” he said.

He said that Beacon authorities were carrying out the crushing work without the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) which should be procured from the Pollution Control Board. “They are doing it illegally,” he said.

Mangral said that a hot-mix plant was also set-up by the Beacon last year. “Both the plants are located on the banks of river Jhelum. They are posing a catastrophic threat to the water body,” he added.

Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) Uri, Reyaz Ahmad Malik said that he has taken up the matter with the Beacon authorities. “I have been assured that no further work will be carried out from the crushing plant till further orders,” he said.