Congress party on Wednesday opposed the move of BJP government in Himachal for setting up of a cement plant at Basantpuri-Kingal area in Shimla district and said it would be negatively impact various heritage monuments, located in its vicinity.

State Congress Backward Areas Development Committee General Secretary Hari Krishan Himral said the site of Cement plant was adjacent to Shimla city and falls in historically important zone where many ancient heritage monuments exist.

“This is the only belt of Shimla rural area where apple is grown and also have fertile agricultural land which will be totally devastated if this proposal of cement plant is actually put in ground in reality,” he added.

Himral said it will also damage the fragile ecosystem of adjacent areas of Kumarsain , Narkanda and Kotgarh which were famous for apple and tourism world over.

“Natural spring water sources which feed wide range of Panchayats of the area will also be effected due to establishing this cement plant.

We have also seen fate of areas where cement plant already exists and hardships that are being faced by people living there, as health hazards and diseases relating to lungs and cancer due to air pollution,” he said.

Himral further questioned employment generation and price relaxation in cement claim of the government if the plant is established.

Himral said the party’s move had found support from several elected panchayat representatives of the area as they had also voiced their concern over the move of BJP government in state.

“The project would not only harm the environment and ecology of the area.

Even the locals are surprised of the government’s move as the permission to setup cement plant is taken without taking local public into confidence,” he added.