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Media Room

500 groups from 77 countries support Mettur-Cuddalore Anti-PVC March

7 September, 2005. CHENNAI, CUDDALORE — GAIA, a global alliance consisting of 500 environmental and human rights organisations from 77 countries has lent its support to the Mettur-Cuddalore march to prevent the setting up of a PVC factory by Chemplast Sanmar in SIPCOT, Cuddalore. GAIA secretariat in the Philippines sent the message to West Konur Farmers Welfare Association and the SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors, the lead organisers of the Mettur-Cuddalore march.

“We would like to acknowledge our appreciation of the Mettur residents and farmers who are leading this march to warn Cuddalore residents about the dangers of PVC and the track record of Chemplast Sanmar, which operates a highly polluting PVC factory in Mettur,” the GAIA solidarity statement said.

“The production of PVC, a poison plastic, will be an unacceptable and unmanageable burden to SIPCOT’s already overpolluted environment. Vinyl Chloride Monomer, that is proposed to be used as a raw material, is a known carcinogen, and a highly explosive chemical. . .Disturbingly, India is the number two target, after China, for expansion by the PVC industry right now,” GAIA writes.

Today is GAIA’s Global Day of Action against waste and incineration. More than 150 organisations in 50 countries are participating in actions against bad garbage handling and incineration of wastes. In areas where the dangers of incinerators are well understood, communities have been successful in resisting the construction of such machines for burning medical, hazardous or municipal wastes. The combustion of waste inevitably results in the release of deadly poisons such as dioxins and heavy metals. Like incinerators, PVC factories too are a globally acknowledged source of super-toxins like dioxins and furans.

Due to trouble with the police that was acting on behalf of the PVC manufacturer, organisers of the anti-PVC march have decided to reschedule the activity. The march will bring together Mettur residents — who are currently suffering the effects of pollution from Chemplast’s new factory. The villagers are stopping en route to interact with other pollution-impacted communities.

Mettur and Cuddalore villagers are calling upon the Governments of India and Tamilnadu to reject Chemplast’s proposal for setting up a PVC factory in Cuddalore, and initiate steps to remediate polluted lands and water in Cuddalore and Mettur, and compensate affected people.

For more information, contact:
Chennai. Dharmesh. Cell: 9444416546
Cuddalore. M. Nizamudeen. Cell: 9443231978

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