Cuddalorite from Taiwan Reminisces

Dear All

First, I would like to appreciate all the good work you CEM is doing

For the people of Cuddalore, SIPCOT. My support is always there with you until the goal of “pollution free Cuddalore-SIPCOT” is achieved. I am Udayanan, a resident of Nochikkadu village in Cuddalore, SIPCOT. I am working as Software Engineer in Taiwan now.

Mr. Udayanan Vaithyanathan

When I was young the Uppanar river bank was a nice place to play upon but now it has become a nasty and dirty place becuase of the “maattu elumbu” (cow bones – Gelatin) factory [Pioneer Miyagi] in Semmankuppam village and many other chemical companies that dot the landscape in Kudikadu, Karaikadu, Poondiyankuppam and other villages.

At that time, before the chemical industries came, there was this special crab called “vannathy nandu.” It was not good for eating but was extremely beautiful to look at. Unfortunately, this is very rare now. In Taiwan, recently I saw the same crab and learnt that it was a very rare crab.


Boating was a pleasant experience in earlier days. To board the boat, we would need to walk a few meters into the river. Now, people get skin diseases if they come in contact with river water.

Monsoon was the best time of the year. At one time, rains were good news for villagers. But now it is the best time of the year for the industries to do their annual cleaning, by releasing their wastes into the water and air. Even 15 years ago, there were no bad odours in my village. Today, residents are assaulted by so many noxious smells. The chemicals behind the smells are the reason for the many diseases affecting SIPCOT villagers.

Buses to Chidambaram, a town south of Cuddalore, have to pass through the SIPCOT industrial estate. For passengers, the few minutes drive through the estate could rank as their worst life experience. The stink assails every sense of the body. The only way to escape that is to hold one’s breath for that part of the journey. I can’t imagine how people of Kudikadu, Karaikadu, Eachangadu, Sangolikuppam and Semmankuppam live there.

It is very unfortunate that the officials responsible are not doing their jobs. Are they just going to wait for another Bhopal-chemical accident to happen in Cuddalore-SIPCOT?

Let’s fight for a good environment for Cuddalore-SIPCOT and protect our future.


Cuddalorite from Taiwan Reminisces
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