Stop setting up polluting industries:
The Hindu, 15 January 2007
|Villagers form an outfit to resist move to set up units
CUDDALORE: Though a series of industries such as a ship
building facility, a textile processing park and an oil refinery are scheduled
to come up in the SIPCOT Industrial Estate here, people in the surrounding
villages have voiced their opposition to the "mindless industrialisation of the
The people of more than a dozen villages, including Periapattu,
Poochimedu, Periyandikuzhu, Chinnur South, Indira Nagar, Pudhuchathiram,
Vaandiyanpalayam, Chinnandikuzhi, Chinnur North, Silimbimangalam, Salangaikkara
Street, Velingarayanpettai and Ayyampettai have constituted a new outfit "People
Welfare, Water and Land Protection Association."
Addressing a press conference, in the presence of a large
number of villagers, here on Saturday, association president D.Devarajan and
secretary N.Mahalingam, said the Government was bent upon setting up chemical
and highly pollution causing industries on the Cuddalore-Chidambaram stretch.
They said industrialisation was being done at the cost of
agriculture and marine life. They alleged that the indiscriminate disposal of
untreated effluents had highly polluted the atmosphere and, subsurface as well
They said that in the perception of industrialists, Cuddalore
was an ideal place for setting up units, because of the prospects of marine
disposal, without paying attention to the hazards — both immediate and long-term
— caused to fertile lands and marine life.
The discharge of effluents into the uppanar and the sea had
already eroded fish yield, thereby affecting the livelihood of fishermen.
By acquiring hundreds of acres of cultivable land, agriculture
prospects too were ruined in these areas.
In terms of creating job opportunities, these units had not
contributed much. Citing the instance of the proposed textile-processing park to
come up on about 400 acres at a cost of Rs 500 crore, Mr, Devarajan pointed out
that the project envisaged sinking of 12 deep borewells to the depth of 1,000 ft
so as to draw 1.95 crore litres of water a day. If the ground water was
exploited at this rate, the water table would deplete fast, thus turning the
fertile land into fallow ones.
What the people preferred was the sustained development of
their traditional pursuits such as farming and fishing.