By: ML Verma
Nahan: Alleged unauthorized blasting in Manal limestone mines owned by CCI Cement factory in Paonta Tehsil of Sirmaur district is reportedly causing cracks in the houses of nearby village Chhachheti under Dhartidhar panchayat.
Villagers complained that explosions are being carried out in the mines at least six times in a day with 11 to 68-hole blasts. They said that it was total violation of Himachal Pradesh High Court orders, according to which blasts could be done between 12 to 2 pm with only up to 11-hole blasts. They said that unlawful blasting has dried natural water springs, due to which agricultural land in the area had become barren. They alleged that their crops have dried up and collecting fodder for animals too has become a tough job.
They further said that residents have been facing various serious diseases due to dust rising from the mines. When the HOD of CCI cement factory Dr SK Sudhanshu was asked about the complaint of villagers, he refuted the charge by saying that mining was being done as per the rules. It is worth mentioning here that eight mine workers were killed in Satun area of this district recently when a huge stone slab came down over their residential quarters.