Thursday, November 27 1997 (UNI)
DEHRA DUN: Lime stone crushers working day and night in the once serene and unpolluted Jakhan area of the Doon valley are ruining the environment of the valley beside threatening the health and peace of residents.
Located just 300 metres from the Rajpur road which takes tourists from all over the country to Mussoorie, these polluting units have created a veil of white dust, layers of which can be seen settled on the trees and other plants in the area. Worse still, they are operating within a residential area, causing constant air and noise pollution.
Since the residents of the area share a common power line with the crushers, they have to bear voltage fluctuations and abrupt disruptions in the power supply. Residents of the area, one of the most scenic in the valley, have been urging authorities to have the crushers shut down, but to no avail.
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the city have also surprisingly not yet taken up this issue. The Doon valley is already high on polluted city charts. With the black diesel smoke emitted by the eight-seaters which are the most popular mode of public transport here, the valley is witnessing unprecedented levels of air pollution.
The roads in the area are in state of complete deterioration as heavy motor vehicle constantly ply on them, carrying limestone to and from the crushers. Moreover, these trucks not only disturb the residents but are also a threat to the children playing within the colony.
Existing roads being damaged to such an extent in the valley leave little hope for all the dream-like projects of beautifying the Doon-valley being realised.
Residents have appealed to the authorities to shift the limestone crushers to some non-residential area, if at all they must be allowed to function. Children of “Scholars Home”, a residential school located in Jakhan area, are also suffering from the ill-effects of the crushing.
In the absence of any help from the authorities concerned or NGOs, the people of this area of the valley have begun signature campaigns and are creating a movement of their own against this grave environmental problems.
Hopefully, the authorities responsible for keeping the valley free of pollution to the greatest possible extent will realise that this problem is not just confined to the particular area but has serious implications for the ecological balance of the Doon.