HARIPUR: The district administration sealed three stone crushing plants for operating without obtaining No Objection Certificate from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in Khanpur area, official sources said here on Wednesday.

Assistant commissioner, Khanpur, Faraz Qureshi said the action was initiated on public complaints presented to the deputy commissioner during an open kutchery held last week, and reports of EPA’s Abbottabad office.

He said following complaints and the direction of additional secretary home department, he along with assistant director mines and minerals, Haripur, and EPA officials conducted a surprise visit to some areas of Khanpur tehsil, where the stone crushing plants were operating.

Mr Qureshi said during the examination of documents of crushing plants, three plants were found to be operating without NOC from EPA.

He said he sealed these plants.

According to EPA documents, Khanpur tehsil alone houses 28 stone crushing plants, but only eight have the EPA’s construction NOC, and only six have operational NOC.

It may be added that establishment and operation of stone crushing plants near the populated areas and Khanpur reservoir had drawn objection from environmentalists and locals. Some complainants have also moved court.

Published in Dawn, February 29th, 2024

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