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The 'no industries' movement is gaining momentum among the residents of Barwal village in Jammu. The movement aims to save green cover in the village. I recently visited the village and spoke to locals to understand the situation better.
Amrish Jashrotiya, a resident of the village told me, "Our village is situated in the Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a very populated place. The government proposed to build industries in an area near our village that is densely populated with trees. They have already transferred this village to SIDCO (State Industrial Developmental Corporation) and we all are protesting against that."
The residents feel that the industries SIDCO is planning to build would affect the climate of the place and It would not only affect them but also the future generations.
"These trees and the greenery are a very important part of our lives. They are the reason behind the rainfall we receive. Cutting down trees is not the best thing to do. If factories come here, they would cause a lot of pollution and there won't be any peace left."Ramnath Khajuriya
Aditya, a student and a resident of the village, said, "if the trees are cut down, there will be a lack of oxygen, firewood, fodder for animals, and other needs that the forest fulfils."
Focus on Sustainable Development
The locals believe, if the government wants to help with the unemployment, they could work or start with activities that wouldn't harm the environment much.
"If the govt really wants to help with unemployment, they can do horticulture or fish farming here, it would help people get jobs."Amrish Jasrotiya
Talking about the problems that villagers have been facing, Jasrotiya mentioned that the entire village once used to be dependent on the village lake for everything, but with time, the lake has started to dry up.
He added, "The groundwater level was so low that people had to struggle even for drinking water. If trees are cut and industries take their place, it will get worse because industries need more water. And if the industry starts taking up our water, what will we do?"
The Quint reached out to the authorities for their response on the same.
"An industrial estate would be built in Budhi. We are aware that people are protesting. The land was transferred to us by the government. The government instructed us to develop that industrial estate, as the concerned authority," said SIDCO authorities.
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