Chennai, April 24: A peoples’ welfare association has moved the Madras High Court for a direction to the authorities concerned to ensure that industries located at the SIPCOT chemical complex at Cuddalore maintained safe levels of air quality and toxic chemicals.
When the petition filed by The People Legal Awareness and Consumer Welfare Association came up for hearing yesterday, a Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Murugesan,issued notice to the Union Environment and Forests Ministry and State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu, returnable by June eight.
Contending that the industries manufactured pesticides, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, plastics, dyes and textiles, the association claimed that only four units were categorised as non-polluting industries while 24 industries fell under the ‘Red’ category meaning highly polluting industries.
Pointing out that agriculture and fishing were the mainstay of the people of Cuddalore district,the association submitted that about 25,000 persons resided in the vicinity of the chemical industries. People have been complaining of constant irritation in the eyes and nausea.
Claiming that a study by a consumer organisation had revealed 72 environmental and legal violations in 26 months between October 2004 and November 2006 during which time five lives were lost and 12 workmen were injured, the association also sought a direction to the respondents to close industrial units which violated environmental norms, pending disposal of the petition.