Chennai 15 November 2007: 100 agitated people from Mettur
assembled at the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board at Guindy today to
present a copy of a report, 'Unfolding Diasater - A Study of Chemplast
Sanmar's toxic contamination in Mettur' and demanded that the TNPCB
take the required action to control pollution in the area. The
villagers mourned the death of land, water and soil and demanded to
meet a senior authority with the TNPCB to submit a copy of the newly
released report. The report shows that toxic chemicals were indeed
present in the environment in Mettur around Chemplast Sanmar at
extremely high and dangerous levels.
Chemplast Sanmar has five units including a chloromethanes plant, a
PVC plant including units to produce ethylene dichloride (EDC) and
vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). The industry is said to store hazardous
waste in unlined pits inside the factory premises which leaks out and
caused contamination of ground water and soil. Untreated effluents from
the industry are also released in the river Kaveri through pipelines.
The people in Mettur have raised the issue of pollution and
pollution induced damage to land, water and health with the TNPCB, and
other concerned authories since 1966. However, the villagers report
that in spite of a number of studies conducted in the area proving
contamination, the TNPCB has taken no action against the company to
remedy the situation. They also allege that TNPCB in the past has only
worked in collusion with the company.
This morning at TNPCB, the Joint Chief Environment Engineer, Mr.
Balaji came to meet the people and receive the report. The villagers
complained of their contaminated water, loss of agricultural
productivity, frequent health problems, and loss of livelihood.
Mr.Balaji listened to the complaints and promised to take the necessary
action in favour of the people. The villagers wanted his assurance on
this promise as they had already met with an official from TNPCB in
January 2006 who had made similar promises which were never
However, most of the people gathered today had given in their
complaints, and after having received an assurance from Mr.Balaji that
the TNPCB would come to Mettur, meet with the local people and assess
the problem on their own without the company's interference, the people
left hoping that this meeting would not be just another ritual in their