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Dolphin killed near SIPCOT

Cuddalore, 2 February 2006: SIPCOT effluents are being blamed for a recent incident where a dolphin died on the beach near Gundu Uppalawadi, about 10 km North of SIPCOT. On 1 February 2006, a 20-foot long dolphin was found dead on Cuddalore shores. Local sources say that the untreated effluents being discharged by CUSECS may have caused the death. CUSECS discharges the combined effluents from SIPCOT to the sea through a pipeline running through Rajapettai and Sothikuppam villages. Fishermen from Rajapettai complain of breathlessness and nausea when fishing in the vicinity of the effluent outfall. According to women from Rajapettai, the smell in the village is offensive and unbearable when the wind blows from the sea. "A lot of people are losing their eyesight", said one woman.

In 2004, SACEM had taken an air sample from CUSECS and found six toxic chemicals including Hydrogen Sulphide, Methyl Mercaptan, Dimethyl Sulphide, Ethanol, Methylene Chloride, Trichloroethene and Toluene. Methylene Chloride and Trichloroethe are known carcinogens.

The villagers have written to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board for an investigation and a postmortem of the dolphin to ascertain the cause of its death.

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