Illegal mining and running stone crushers operating at several mining spots are presenting grave threat to the frail ecology of the hill state.
Despite several High Court orders, dozens of illegal crusher have been functioning on the riverbeds of Satluj and Beas rivers in Shimla, Kullu and Kinnaur Districts of Himachal Pradesh.
Villagers and shepherds in Koyal area of Kullu District have been suffering from the noise, dust and shrinking waters resources caused due to the running of these illegal units.
"We are facing a lot of trouble due to the stone crushers. Our children are falling ill by inhaling the dirt. We are facing a lot of problems as the roads have been dug. Our houses have cracked up and we do not have any other option. Our animals are dying because of the air pollution," said Shakina, a resident of Koyal village.
Officials have denied that any illegal mining is being carried out in the state saying that stone crushers were being allowed to function only on the private lands.
"The complaints brought by the locals are not always correct. When we send our officials to the site it turns out to be incorrect. As far as functioning of stone crushers are concerned on private lands, they have been granted lease by us. It is not illegal mining," said State Industry Minister, Kishan Kapoor.