Villagers of the areas around the identified plant and mine site of Lafarge India’s proposed cement plant in Himachal Pradesh have issued a statement through the company supporting the plant. According to the statement, they have expressed their anguish over the order of the NEAA.
"We have - the statement on behalf of the villagers says - learnt that NEAA passed an order setting aside the Environmental Clearance granted to the project. To the best of our knowledge Lafarge had duly followed all processes required for obtaining the EC. Our youths will remain unemployed and we will continue to exist in the financial condition that we are in now, if the plant doesn’t come up.
We had earlier submitted a memorandum highlighting the benefits that setting up of the project will bring in its wake. When abundant supply of good quality limestone is available in Tehsil Karsog, why cant the same be utilized for the development of the people and the area? If the limestone reserve can be scientifically excavated following all environmental safeguards it can immensely benefit the local people and the State Government.
We reiterate that during the public hearing conducted by the State Pollution Control Board the support of the local people was documented.
Lafarge was granted all necessary clearance after a detailed site inspection and after all due processes were followed by them.
Individuals opposing the project don’t stay in this area and are blind to our condition. They do not voice the proper facts nor the aspirations of the local people. That is not mass sentiment and not representative of the majority. They have their “vested interest” and selfish motivations. We are happy to welcome the project, as we want our children to have a better life and future. Setting up of the project would result in employment opportunities and also indirect employment through ancillary units. Developmental activities of the company will lead to overall development of the area.
The CSR initiatives taken by Lafarge India in the region has benefited all and sundry. The health center has provided people with medical relief in need. The setting up of the computer training centers will help the children become learn computer operations. Infrastructure and other amenities also will become accessible, once the company is allowed to undertake its operations here. A cement plant in this area has been a long standing demand of ours. We are happy that Lafarge decided to come forward and we will support them all through. We want a prosperous future for our youngsters and we urge the Government to allow Lafarge start operations in Himachal Pradesh."