Nanj, a small scenic village by River Satluj in Karsog tehsil of Mandi district are bearing the brunt of dust, noise and pollution that a stone crusher has been setting off over the past year. The Stone Crusher is located at a distance of about 250 to 300 metres across the river in Shimla district with the Satluj River being the boundary between the two districts.
The main impact of this stone crusher has been severe noise because of its activities which involve breaking, grinding and tipping of stones.
“A senior secondary school is located close to the stone crusher and the students are having to face severe noise and dust pollution during school hours. Our village has fertile lands and there is an imminent threat that the dust from the crusher will damage both our agricultural and horticulture crops”, says Nek Ram Sharma, a resident of Nanj.
“There is no board or any public display indicating who owns the crusher, when it got permission or any other environmental data. Our Panchayat has not been approached for grant of No Objection Certificate (NOC) for this unit,” adds Sharma.
Nanj village Pradhan Santosh Kumari claims that from the Pollution Control Board office at Rampur, the residents of Nanj had obtained a Consent to Operate letter in the name of M/s Satluj Stone Crushers Plant which was valid up to 31st October 2015.
“The plant is now operating without a valid consent and that too in violation of environmental norms. We want to know how the plant managed to get a renewal of their consent when we have already complaint several times to the SDM and also sent copies of the same to the Pollution Control Board”, says an agitated Santosh Kumari, the Pradhan of Nanj Panchayat.
“Complaints were lodged between May and October 2015 before the Sub Divisional Magistrate office at Karsog and resolutions from Panchayat were made to the Chief Minister as well as the Pollution Control Board authorities,” says Santosh.
“We have been informed by the SDM that on record no such stone crusher exists in the area. We have provided documentary evidence of the existence of such a stone crusher but there has been absolutely no response from the concerned authorities”, added the president of Nanj Panchayat
On 13th December 2015 senior residents of the village led by Santosh Kumari again met the SDO, Pollution Control Board at Rampur and have demanded that the plant be shut down for gross violation of environmental norms and Stone Crusher guidelines.