Cuddalore and Mettur residents meet TNPCB Member Secretary; demand more transparency in TNPCB activities

Chennai, 22 November 2011: A fifteen member delegation comprising of residents and community environmental monitors from Cuddalore and Mettur today met the newly appointed Member Secretary (MS) of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board Dr. K. Karthikeyen and apprised him on the ground situations of pollution and operations of local TNPCB offices in their regions. The meeting that lasted over two hours was convened at the TNPCB Chennai office. SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors (SACEM) briefed the MS about ongoing violation in the SIPCOT region including the most recent violation of discharge of effluent through the storm water drains by the SIPCOT units. Members of Mettur Padhukappai Iakkam (MPI) also informed the MS about the recent violation including the illegal operation of about 135 units of SIDCO in their region.

The members also shared their disappointing experiences with the local TNPCB officials and informed the MS about lack of transparency in their operations. The members demanded the TNPCB officials should conduct joint patrol with the community residents in order to control pollution form various industrial units in the area.

The Member Secretary gave a patient hearing and assured the delegation that immediate action would be taken to make TNPCB more accessible, community friendly and transparent. Some of the key demands of the delegation were:

  1. Complete assessment of the depth and spread of pollution in SIPCOT Cuddalore and Mettur.
  2. Transparency in the operations of TNPCB.
  3. Joint pollution monitoring exercises with community members
  4. Legal action including prosecution of units that are either operating without consent or in violation of conditions imposed by the Board.