Environmentalists, Villagers Oppose Greenfield Lafarge Cement Plant In Himachal

karsog-20sept08-7Shimla: Environmentalists and residents of Karsog valley came out in large numbers to oppose setting up of a greenfield cement plant by Lafarge, a world leader in cement production, in the area.

About 500 people including 200 women from about 12 panchyats, who are within the proposed mining and cement plant zone, today held a protest march in Karsog market under the banner of Sri Deobadyogi Sangharsh evam Paryavaran Samiti and Himalaya Niti Abhiyan.

The villagers, who arrived in buses and jeeps took out a procession through the Karsog market and raised slogans against the cement company and the government’s indifferent attitude to people’s opposition to it.

“Over 310 landowners from 4 revenue villages of Talhain, DPF Bagshiad, Gatbesta and Alsindi have opposed the state government notice for land acquisition under section 4 the Land Acquisition Act,” said Guman Singh of Himalaya Niti Abhiyan.

KG Thakur, spokesman for the protesters said “despite numerous reminders and meetings with leaders of both Congress and BJP governments, there has been no action on the demand to scrap the proposed cement project.”

Resolving to intensify the agitation, the protesters resented that the local legislator (MLA) had chosen to side with the cement industry like other representatives who preceded him.

The MLA has even gone to the extent of renting the vehicle that the people had contributed for his election campaign to Lafarge Company, purely for petty monetary considerations, alleged Thakur.

Hiramani Bhardwaj, general secretary of the Sangharsh Samiti said that the livelihoods of the people of the effected panchyats were dependent upon agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture and collection of forest produce which are more sustainable as compared to the cement plant which would destroy all these forever.

Environmentalist Guman Singh asked women from the area to take the lead against the cement plant as they are the most impacted due to any such new development.

He said that air pollution that would decimate the agriculture and peoples’ health in at least 10 Kms areal distance and the drying up of water sources would be the most severe impacts of the cement project.

Raising a question mark over the way development was being perceived by the government’s in Himalayas, he said that the ideal development for this region should be non destructive and should be based upon enrichment of natural resource based livelihoods and rural tourism.

The governments’ chosen paradigm of development has only contributed to undermine this potential, he said.

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  1. says: Abhishek Sharma

    This is ridiculous to think of anymore cement plants where current plants have made us poorer in terms of ecological & nature’s wealth. this industry has devastated this wealth of himachal state. govt cannot sidelines enviromental interest in return of such industries. in the times when world is uniting over global warming related issues such decisions of Govt. are least expected and would be a shame on us. this is a high time we must put our humanatarian efforts towards nature and its resources. people of himachal deserve & need a healthier and peaceful & grrner future..

    1. says: S. Chauhan

      the installation of cement plants in himachal pradesh is unfortunate. where the lafarge india pvt is going to install the cement plant there is more than 5 lacs of evergreen trees such as devdar, baan, cheer, kail and huge number of herbs and huge number of wild animals just as tiger, black bear, peacock, titar, bater and a huge groth of vulture. the land of farmers is very furtile. there are orchards of apples, pomagranates etc. on one hand the whole world is worried about the global warming and other hand such cement plants are being installed very near to Himalyas. if the government and other organizations are serious about the environment the such activities must be stopped at once.

  2. says: Engr RK Gupta

    Today’s need is to educate the people, about the awareness of latest technology, rather than to mislead the innocent villagers. It is very clear that whenever any new group/establishment raises their new plant they got clearance from the Central/state pollution control board.
    Therefore the local innocent people should encourage the upcoming industries rather than agitation, which definitely give exposure to the local villagers in addition to employment which again will uplift the life of all villages of Karsog tehsil viz right from Karsog,Churag, Mahunag, Alsindi, Bagshad, Jayori, tatapani, Sanvidhar, Randol, Bal, Thalli, Telhan, Dagaon, Jedvi, Deol, Khandech, Shakra, Suni, Gharyana, Palyad, shakrori and Chaba Basantpur etc.
    To conclude everyone must understand the latest technology in the interest of our country.
    Thank you,

    1. says: S. Chauhan

      Near about 30000 cows will lost their food sources and water. only 250 persons will get employment in this cement plant out of which only 70% persons i.e. 175 persons from Himachal Pradesh will get direct employment in it. As per the information from H.P. Health department, in the past five years 2299 patients of breathing, 191 hiv positive and 5 laprocy were registered in Barmana and 19349 breathing and 4 cases of laprocy were registered in Darlaghat during the last 5 years. Environment point of view, more than 8000 families /more than 40000 people will be affected by this cement plant and more than 500 families will be displaced and thousands years old more than half dozen worship places will be destroyed. The employment will not be provided to common man it will only be enjoyed by the big busuness houses, local businessmen community and some polititions only. Nothing is in the favour of a comman man. A common man will loose everything and he has to fight for bread in future.

  3. says: nishant thakur

    whoso ever wrote this article ..i beg please follow the ENRON power plant of maharashtra.. you will get all the leads as to why such plants are coming to india…it will be intersting to know that people displaced by the bhakhra nagal dam have still not got the compensations!!!!! the poor lose all the MNC gain all and the government neck deep in corruption feeds on our pain…last heard dhumals son is having a nice resorts made in a forst..nice touch…surprising how fast he got all the approvals and all the money and all the loan…the people of these hilly states are humble…but if the goivernment keeps sucking them like this..naxalism is not too aline a concept. there is a limit to non violnet resistance, i hope the government agrees…

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