Agra, Sep 19 (IANS) Workers, industrialists and social activists marched here on Wednesday to protest restrictions on industries in the eco-sensitive Taj Trapezium Zone spread over 10,400 sq.km.
Carrying placards and banners, the protesters raised slogans against the apathetic attitude of the elected representatives towards industries, hotels, hospitals and others listed in the Orange, Red and White categories of the pollution control department.
Industry leaders addressing the protesters at the Shaheed Smarak claimed that thousands of people would lose their jobs with total disruption of economic activities in Agra if the restrictions were not lifted.
K.C. Jain, secretary of Agra Development Foundation, said "not only iron foundries, but also hotels, nursing homes and business establishments have been affected by the a moratorium on expansion."
Organisations that joined the protest included Laghu Udhyog Bharti, National Chamber of Industries and Commerce, UP Diesel Engine Manufacturing Association, Mathura, Firozabad Factories Association, Engineering Component manufacturing association, Factory Owners' Association, Export Promotion Council members, Computers Association of Agra, Tourists Welfare Chamber, Agra Footwear manufacturers and exporters Chamber, Real Estate Developers Organisation, Foundries Association, Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association and a dozen others.
The polluting industries were shut down in 1996 by the Supreme Court.
Later, some industries were allowed to run if they switched to natural gas. But expansion and opening of new units was not permitted both in Agra and Firozabad.