Tehri Garhwal: Padma Shri awardee and Garhwali folk singer Narendra Singh Negi on Saturday supported the liquor bottling plant at Dadua village in the district, saying the unit will create job opportunities for the locals and provide cheap liquor to consumers.
"I am not supporting alcohol but when people are consuming alcohol on a daily basis, then there is no harm if a liquor factory operates in the area. The factory will provide jobs and people will not migrate from the village in search of work," he said.
"In fact, the liquor will also get cheaper if manufactured here. People consume over-priced non-country made liquor. People might differ but it's my personal opinion," he said.
However, the locals have conflicting views regarding the liquor factory. While some are happy with the factory, others say that the jobs have not been provided with fair wages.
Shyamlal, a local, said: "They are telling us to work, but not giving fair wages. Our only demand is that we should get jobs, but with fare wages. We are not against the factory. Empty bottles can be manufactured but alcohol should stay banned."
Manvendra Singh, former head of Dadua village, said: "The Gram Panchayat gave land for this factory in the hope of creating jobs. Now around 400 people are working in the factory. We are happy that this factory has created jobs. Media is showing that we are protesting which is not true. In fact, we are in support of the factory."
Amit Bhatia, the factory owner, said: "We don't manufacture alcohol but pack it which comes from outside. We have been working on the site for quite some time. When we bought the land from the Gram Panchayat, people were happy that they would get jobs in the village only."
"Villagers told us that they used to go to Delhi in search of work. But now they are happy. Many villagers are working in the factory. People, who envy this development in the village, are spreading rumours," he said.
He further said that the factory is not polluting the rivers flowing nearby. "Ours is a zero discharge plant. Rumours that the plant will pollute rivers are totally false and misleading," he said....