Stone crusher on Neugal riverbed opposed

Stone crusher on Neugal riverbed opposed

2022-01-22 02:31:27

Our Correspondent

Palampur, January 21

Residents of Bathan panchayat in Thural tehsil of Kangra district today protested against the decision of the state government to lease a part of the Neugal riverbed for mining and setting up a stone crusher.

The villagers expressed their resentment before Dheera SDM Ashish Sharma, who along with the Block Development Officer and the Mining Officer, Kangra, had gone for the inspection of the mining site in the village. As soon as the team of officials reached Bathan, hundreds of villagers along with the pradhan and members of the panchayat arrived there. They categorically told the SDM that they would not allow the installation of a stone crusher in their village. They told Sharma that the administration had no right to force the panchayat to issue an NOC for a stone crusher. The panchayat had in an open session already rejected twice the request for an NOC.

Panchayat pradhan Seema Devi and up-pradhan Sat Pal said they would not allow mining as it would be a health hazard and also cause environmental degradation in the area. They added that stone crushers had made the lives of locals miserable.

“The mining mafia operating in adjoining panchayats has damaged the village cremation ground, local paths, water supply schemes, and bridges. Most of the stone crushers function round the clock, and as a result children cannot study, elders cannot sleep and there is large scale pollution in the area,” they said.

Earlier, a large number of villagers assembled at the site and threatened to hold a dharna if the government allowed the installation of a stone crusher without the consent of the panchayat.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned mining in the Neugal three years ago. Therefore, no part of the riverbed could be leased for mining. Besides, the Himachal HC had also directed the government not to allow mining in the area where it is banned without the approval of the NGT.

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