SRINAGAR: Taking a strong exception to the usage of petcoke by the cement industries in Khonmoh area, Apni Party Provincial President Kashmir Mohammad Ashraf Mir on Wednesday demanded that the government of Jammu and Kashmir should ban the use of this health hazardous fuel after the government’s fixed deadline of three years.
In a statement issued here, Mir said that a recent study conducted by the university of Kashmir has indicated that there was high level of air pollution beside high prevalence of diseases particularly, respiratory problems, eye irritations and dermatological problems among the population living in and around the industrial estate in Khonmoh area.
He said that the use of petcoke, a dark solid carbon material by the cement industries, has contributed immensely in emission of greenhouse gas causing a huge degradation of ecology and environment in the area.
“The central government had told the Supreme Court that petcoke would only be used as feedstock and not as a fuel by the cement industries. However, the government of J&K should ensure that wet scrubber technology used by the cement industries should not be accepted as an alternative and the use of petcoke should be completely banned after the government’s own deadline of three years,” he said.
He said that the government of J&K should ask the cement industries at Khonmoh to switch over to other technologies not being dependent on consumption of petcoke within the stipulated time frame as notified by the government recently.
Mir said that the local population of Khonmoh protested against the pollution emanating from these industries for years now, but it seems nobody is listening to their pleas. “The Cement factories pollution is not only adversely affecting wildlife, saffron production but human lives are also at stake,” Apni Party provincial president observed.