Several villagers of the Tilli, Padhiyun, Talyar, Pairi, Badasu and Nagchala gram panchayat gathered outside the Mandi deputy commissioner's office at Mandi on Tuesday and shouted slogans against what they called the ongoing illegal mining activities in Bayar village in Tilli gram panchayat.
The villagers alleged the owner has set up a bitumen hot mixing plant and a stone crusher that was causing dark black smoke and dust in nearby villages and destroying vegetation, adding it was posing a threat to endangered birds and animals in nearby forest areas and causing problems in breathing.
The villagers submitted memorandum to chief minister Virbhadra Singh, the National Green Tribunal, the governor, the chief forest conservator, the director general of police and the public works department chief engineer through Mandi additional deputy commissioner Gopal Chand. They alleged the owner was violating provisions of the Environment Protection, Forest and Land Acquisition Acts.
The villagers also pointed fingers at PWD and forest department officials who they said had turned a blind eye over repeated blockage of the Kadhlag-Bayar road due to illegal mining activities along the road.
The villagers gave 15 days ultimatum to the district administration to take stringent action against the illegal mining activities to avoid future agitation and protest by the villagers in support of their demands.