Cuddalore, 19 January 2010: SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors (SACEM) has welcomed the center’s decision for temporary restrictions on new industrial projects in Cuddalore and demanded that the community should be involved in all action plans for environmental remediation. In a letter to the State and Central Pollution Control Boards, SACEM has shared all its reports on the existing environmental conditions of SIPCOT region and requested the Boards to adopt an inclusive approach to solving the problems of pollution by ensuring community and local self governments participation over the next eight months.
SACEM has also demanded a complete ban on new projects until a much needed regional carrying capacity study of the local environment is conducted. “The recommendation by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) for a carrying capacity study has been pending since 1998. The MoEF report reiterates what SACEM has been claiming for the last six years that SIPCOT is a critically polluted region. A moratorium on new polluting units is absolutely essential as a first step to resolve the problems of pollution,” said SACEM. For the existing units in the region, SACEM demanded stricter monitoring mechanisms and called for immediate legal action, including prosecution of company directors, for violation of any conditions.
Earlier this month, the Center had imposed temporary restrictions on new development projects in industrial clusters that score more than 70 points on the Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests recently. Cuddalore, with a CEPI of 77.45 would be affected by this decision of the Center.