11th December 2012
New India Express
Protesting against an alleged polluting industrial unit in their town, around 200 residents of Kayalpatnam in Tuticorin district filed RTI petitions with the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) here on Monday. They also met TNPCB officials and made representations with them.
Residents and members of the Kayalpatnam Environmental Protection Association (KEPA) alleged that the factory owned and operated by DCW Ltd at Sahupuram, had been flagrantly flouting environmental norms by releasing effluents into the sea.The factory manufactured caustic soda, liquid chlorine, beneficiated ilmenite and trichloroethylene, and PVC.
The factory allegedly released effluents into the sea during rains which resulted in mercury poisoning along the coast, rendering the fish catch unfit for consumption. Agricultural activity had also come to a standstill, they said. The members said respiratory diseases had spiralled in the last few years in addition to cases of cancer.
Residents wanted to know the action taken by the TNPCB on the recommendation of a DEE (Deputy Executive Engineer) to close down the ilmenite unit of the plant in August 2012.
Dr S Balaji, member-secretary of the TNPCB, met the residents and assuaged fears about the unit. He said a committee would be formed to inspect the area. He promised action by December 17.