Mettur, 7 September 2012: In response to the Chennai High Court’s dictate on the environmental crisis in Mettur, an investigative expert committee has been set up to ascertain the facts of the case. On the 4th and 6th of September, individuals and groups from the Mettur community accompanied a fact finding team of government representatives who had come together for immediate action in a public interest litigation filed by environmentalist Mr.Radhakrishnan of Salem.
The 17 member team comprising of the RDO, Salem, engineers of the TNPCB, the Water Board, doctors of the Health Department and officers of the Agricultural Department, have collected nearly 28 soil samples and 17 water samples from in and around Gonur Panchayat. On day 1, the 4th, the team arrived at around 3.00 in the afternoon in Mettur to gather samples of water and soil from 5 spots including unusable bore wells in Karungal, powerplant coolant discharge points and farmlands lying fallow. On the 2nd day, representatives of the TNPCB and the Water and Soil Testing Laboratories had returned for samples from further places like Thittankaadu, with the Gonur Panchayat President and the Nangavalli Panchayat Union Chairman as part of the retinue to the technical team on both days. Nearly 50 residents of Mettur, some of them members of the Gonur Farmers Union, have contributed to the entourage and to the fact finding process, identifying toxic hot spots and narrating personal accounts.
The Court had issued orders after studying the petitioner’s submissions on the extremely hazardous conditions of pollution, resource deprivation and deterioration of the ecological biosphere in Mettur, caused by the unregulated concentration of chemical industries.