Citizens Tuesday protested against the management of a smoke-emitting cement factory, situated on Hattar Farooqia Road.
The protesters said that the cement factory burned coal and dumped pollutants in surrounding villages. Protestors burned tires to block the road. They chanted slogans at the cement factory gate before handing over a protest letter to the management.
During the protest, locals demanded that the coal burning should be stopped since it was causing pollution and dust, which enveloped the area, and when the wind stops to blow, the dust settled on their farms, houses, and clothes, turning the surrounding area black.
As a result of the pollution, children and the elderly were more susceptible to respiratory diseases. They said that the water has been contaminated with chemicals released by Hattar cement factories, which enter their fields of vegetables and crops.
They said that the damaged crops and vegetables become hazardous to humans as well. The protesters urged the departments concerned to take notice of the issue which was making life increasingly difficult and problematic for the locals.
They also said that the cement factory was not only using the road for the transportation of heavy machinery but also its loaded vehicles. The frequent roadside breakdowns of the cement factory's heavy vehicles cause daily road closures, and surrounding communities also face problems, they said.
The protesters said that the heavy vehicles and trucks arriving for loading at the cement factory were parked on the road since the factory did not have adequate parking facilities. Additionally, they said, several vehicles create lengthy lines, which also severely affects traffic flow.
They said that the cement factory management should make alternative arrangements for their heavy vehicles. They said that the district administration has turned a blind eye to the grave issue which has put the lives of thousands of locals at risk.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2022.
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