8 September 2007
CUDDALORE: A joint meeting of environmentalists, lawyers, scientists, consumer activists and a section of the pollution-affected people held here recently voiced concern over the pollution problem in Cuddalore which, according to them, had already reached the saturation point.
Therefore, to avoid further degradation of environment and to protect the people living in the vulnerable areas, no more industries should be allowed in Cuddalore and more over stringent action should be taken against the polluting units so as to make them fall in line.
The meeting was coordinated by the Tamil Nadu Environment Council (TNEC), Environmental Lawyers Forum (ELF), Environmental Scientists Forum (ESF) and District Environmental Protection Organisation for Research and Tackling (DEPORT).
M.Nizamudeen, president of the DEPORT, said owing to environmental pollution the life of farmers were gravely affected as they had contacted new diseases and their cattle head died of unknown causes.
The water sources too were heavily polluted and therefore, the doctors were advising the people to shift to other places.
L. Antonysamy, State convenor of TNEC, said in the name of attracting economic growth rapid industrialisation was encouraged, little realising the fact that such a measure had created more problems than solutions.
Rather than providing employment, industries were driving the farmers, farm labourers and fishermen out of their traditional avocations, besides aggravating pollution, he said.
D. Ravikumar, MLA, said it was a sad commentary that the industries that had either been banned or rejected elsewhere were being relocated in Tamil Nadu.
Even some of the units closed in Puducherry had been shifted to Cuddalore, he said.
It could happen because the people were in the dark about these proposals, including the educated.
Therefore, he called upon the environmental activists and the non-governmental organisation to launch a sensitisation programme to create awareness of the impending threats posed by the pollution-causing industries to health and other social causes.
L. Jayachandran, former MLC and Public Hearing Committee member, Mr. Arulappan, president of the Cuddalore Bar Association, Mr. Thamaraiselvan, Vice-Chairman of Cuddalore Municipality, Dr. P. Sampathkumar, Reader, Annamalai University, Dr. E.Karthikeyan, chairman of the Institute for Participatory Environment and Disaster Management, P.J.X. Vedanayagam, an advocate, spoke.
The representatives of the people who were living in the pollution prone areas dwelt on the problems faced by them.