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Environmental and social impact of cement factory on Lakki Marwat: A call for justice

Lucky Cement Factory was founded in 1993 by Abdul Razzak Tabba. The company started with factories in the Pezu located in Lakki Marwat of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. It now, also, owns a factory in Nooriabad, Jamshoro. The factory is situated in the Sheikh Badin Mountains. The factory is thriving and growing since 1993 and growing at fast rate. The factory is collecting fortune from the blessed mountains of Sheikh Badin but in return the factory is giving misfortune to the locality and the Mountains. The environment is being destroyed by the irresponsible and unrestricted excavations done by the factory.
The beauty of the Lakki Marawat’s mountains is destroyed by these processes. The factory has never taken any steps for the development of the locality as the people of Lakki Marwat are sold by their leaders and have no one to speak for them. The company hasn’t given anything to the district as the royalty or bonuses. The district owns a legitimate share in the revenue of the factory.
The Lucky Cement Factory hasn’t paid surface rent, corporate social responsibility and royalty to the district. Lakki Marwat is one of the most backward districts of the Pakhtunkhwa. On the basis of this one factory the Tabba family has made six more factories in different parts of Pakistan but in return the District has always got misery and problems. The people of Lakki Marwat are not given any respectable position in the factory.
The people of Lakki Marwat can only work as laborers, security guards, and sweeper or in other minor jobs. The local are not given respectable position in factory regardless of their education, capabilities and talent and even the local professional youth are not given opportunity of internship. The people demand their constitutional and legal rights to be given to them by the factory. The people of Lakki Marwat have also been protesting in front of the Islamabad Press Club for their rights in the form of a dharna for the last two weeks. They are demanding the royalty, surface rent and corporate social responsibility from the state and the factory. ISL project in Qaboolkhel is also not giving anything to the district for the mess they have created. The management has not yet paid for the land acquired for the factory installations in the 1990s, and the people have also gone to the local courts to seek justice but in vain. People of Lakki Marwat are demanding that their rights be granted to them before they are forced to take them by more drastic measures.
All of this is happening in the district with the help and support of the district administration and local political forces. They are driven by the money they receive from the factory. The conglomerate has become more powerful than the administration itself, corrupting all the politicians, local leaders, and officials. The people of Lakki Marwat are systematically denied respectable positions in the factory, such as managers, engineers, or other ranked roles, solely because of their origin.
The Environment of Pezu is destroyed because of unobserved and unrestricted operations of the factory. The result is that the water of the area has become poisonous and the air is filled with viruses and carcinogens. Many cases of cancer appear every year. People are dying of environmental problems and diseases. There are about more than 200 cases of tuberculosis in Dara Pezu and more than 60 have died because to TB due to environmental pollution caused by the factory while more than 140 are suffering from various fatal diseases, including cancer, blood cancer, asthma, kidney-related problems, skin problems, lung-related problems, tuberculosis and hepatitis.
A victim Gulzar, 76, said that he had been suffering from tuberculosis for the last eight years and his treatment was also still continued, adding that his 22-year-old niece, Safia, died of cancer. Wiping his tears, he said that his 25-year-old nephew, Gultayaz, also died of cancer and now his 18-year-old niece, Shakeela, was suffering from tuberculosis. Ihsanullah said that his six-year-old son, Muhammad Amir, was suffering from blood cancer. The management had done nothing to control environmental pollution and successive governments did not pay attention towards the problems either.
The people of Lakki Marwat demand their constitutional and legal rights to be recognized and granted. For the past three decades, they have been deprived of these rights and have instead faced ongoing crises. The locals are frustrated and desperate for change. They call upon the political leaders of Lakki Marwat, the district administration, and state authorities to take immediate and decisive action against the factory’s injustices. The State authorities and leaders are blind to see, deaf to hear the voices and mute to speak for the people.
In response to this prolonged injustice, the people of Lakki Marwat have been protesting in front of the Islamabad Press Club for the past two weeks. They are staging a dharna to demand their rights and to draw national attention to their plight. Their peaceful yet determined protest aims to hold the factory accountable and to ensure that the local population receives the respect and opportunities they deserve. The protesters urge the authorities to listen to their grievances and to act swiftly to restore justice and fairness in the region.

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