The Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh (BBN) in Nalagarh tehsil of Solan District has witnessed rapid industrialization since 2003 when the BJP led government at the Centre announced an industrial subsidy package for the state. Since then an investment of over Rs 4260 crores, into over 3950 registered industrial units has happened. A large number of the units here are polluting in nature, like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, plastics, dying and boilers. Heavy extraction of ground water, ground water pollution, toxicity in air, fly ash and hazardous waste dumping have been the key problems that have arisen in a stretch of almost 35 kms with 21 Panchayats and 115 villages being affected. 6-7 small streams flowing into the Sarsa river, a tributary of the Sutlej have been completely polluted with frequent cases of fish mortality. Air Pollution has also been identified as a major problem.
The area almost made it to the Central Pollution Control Board’s list of “critically polluted” areas and yet the Minister of Commerce, with pressure from the State government, has extended the industrial subsidies package to Himachal Pradesh upto 2013. This may be further extended to 2020. For the people and environment of Nalagarh this is a matter of grave concern since this brings in more industry without strengthening the pollution control mechanisms of the government. Despite some spradic efforts by affected people and a local NGO the violaters of environmental norms and polluting units have not been brought to book.
Cement Grinding and Blending unit cum Thermal Power plant at Bagheri, Nalagarh: There have been serious violations of environmental laws in the construction, commissioning and operation of Jaypee’s Cement plant and in the construction of the thermal power plant at Nalagarh. The Cement unit is currently causing severe Air pollution in its vicinity while the thermal power plant has been kept in abeyance by the promoter due to peoples’ protest against it.
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