Cuddalore, 13 August, 2007 — SIPCOT Area Community Environment Monitors reported an illegal discharge of toxic effluents in to the Eachangadu Vaikal (stream) today. The discharge was noticed at 3 a.m ., when the monitor who is also a fisherman entered the stream to go fishing. He said he experienced an immediate burning sensation of the skin. However, because of the darkness, he was unable to see the water. Upon his return from fishing three hours later, he observed a reddish layer with some foam lining the two edges of the stream. The water flowed clear through the centre of the stream, although a “medicine” smell was clearly discernible, he said.
The wind was blowing from the Southwest to the Northeast and the “shit-like” odour from SPIC was very strong. The Eachangadu stream has been used by SPIC and Asian Paints to discharge their effluents from time to time. Repeated complaints to the TNPCB have been in vain, and companies continue to discharge toxic substances into air and water with no fear of reprisal from the authorities.