Polluted Khrew

Located at a distance of 23 kilometers from Srinagar to its south, is the picturesque locality of Khrew in Kashmir where, at one time, nature was unparalleled in its maiden beauty and freshness. The forests and woods extended right up to Dachigam, the famous wild life sanctuary of Kashmir. It has a bountiful nature, where fruits of different variety, apples, almonds and walnuts grow in abundance. Apart from these advantages, Khrew area is famous for saffron cultivation.
Unfortunately this picturesque locale and its fresh air have been polluted by wanton human activity. In 1984, Kashmir Cement Project (KCP) established a cement factory here and local youths were employed in it. But by the year 2004, seven cement manufacturing units came up in a particular area of Khrew close to villages Pakhribal, Nagadore and Botthen. These cement factories are emitting huge quantities of cement dust that pollutes the entire area far and wide. The fresh air and environs have become terribly polluted and its impact on flora and fauna of the region is disastrous. Firstly the wild animals, especially the famous Hangul, have disappeared from the forests of Khrew and are no more around. Even the birds are becoming rare and they appear very less now. The fruit trees and the crops are damaged by the cement dust. And above all, the saffron crop is adversely affected by the polluted air. It has also been found that people of the area are victims of respiratory problems caused by breathing dust. This is what we call the wanton destruction caused by human beings to Mother Nature.
We strongly appeal to the Government, the Department of Environment and Ecology, the Tourism Department and all concerned to take immediate steps of saving the flora and fauna of this picturesque area. These factories should be asked to introduce most modern methods of containing emission of cement dust. We fail to understand why six cement factories were allowed to be established in the area taking no note of pollution which these would cause. Relocation of these factories away from human and animal habitation would be an ideal solution of the problem. But as that might take a long time, the Government authorities should direct the factory owners to strictly enforce the standing regulations of not polluting the air.

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