Residents of Kamalpur and Hattar staged a protest against a local cement factory on Tuesday.
Villagers accused the factory of polluting the environment and posing health hazards to children at a nearby school. Villagers protested in front of the factory gates, blocking traffic for two hours.
Speaking on the occasion, the villagers’ representative alleged that the factory management allegedly installed an outdated imported plant unable to prevent dust and cement particles from penetrating the atmosphere, because of which villagers are exposed to different ailments, from allergies to respiratory difficulties and eye degasses.
They said that when the factory was established, they were assured of a pollution-free environment which would include the creation of employment opportunities. They added that due to the environment degradation, the “fertility of their land has been drastically reduced”.
The protestors stated that the Kamalpur Primary School has been severely affected by the plant, adding that the students are not able to concentrate due to the noise from the stone crushing process necessary for the manufacture of cement.
They also alleged that heavily loaded trucks carrying stones and other materials have damaged the roads, causing the traffic to move with difficulty.
The residents stated that they have taken to the streets because the company has not complied with their requests. They vowed to continue protests until their demands are met.
The protesters later opened the road for traffic when the factory administration assured them of certain remedial measures.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2011.
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