Cement Factories Allowed To Function Amid Pandemic

Khrew area in the Saffron town of Pampore is an industrial zone with seven mega cement factories churning out cement 24x7. Thanks to their presence the area has gained Kashmir wide publicity and has got the dubious distinction of being the the ‘Gray Town of Kashmir’ because area generates large quantities of dust.

Come here and set up a pharmacy business, you are certainly going to earn big bucks. Ironically, if a patient from the hamlet visits any hospital, he is referred to Chest Diseases Hospital as the doctors have gained much knowledge about the health of residents of this area.

Ironically green signal has been given to industries for commencement of cement production and delivery amidst this pandemic lockdown as I guess cement falls under the essential supply for authorities here. Around 1500 employees and 1000 trucks are in operation with the cement factories which supply their produce not only across Jammu and Kashmir but outside too. Imagine the effect if situation turns upside-down. People are just balls for some high influenced persons who are openly and happily playing with them.

Experts have warned that areas with higher pollution levels are prone to COVID-19 and the ‘Grey Town of Kashmir’ is one of them. COVID-19 is claiming new victims everyday in Kashmir and government it seems is oblivious of the crisis brewing here. Agriculture and Saffron, once pride of our area, is already shattered and now it is the time for ill informed authorities here to shatter our lives. Much needed services like education, internet, shops etc. are shut under the pretext of lockdown and even construction work is on hold but separate orders have been issued to allow functioning of cement plants. This can happen only in Kashmir where interests of the state and powerful supersede public interest?

Here District Disaster Management Authority exists only in name. I still pen down these lines with a hope that some conscious officer will take cognisance and come to our rescue by implementing the law of the land.

Danish Meraj
[email protected]
Khrew Pampore, Kashmir

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