Why do We Want To Ban Sterlite? #Ban Sterlite Save Thoothukudi
The latest news breaking Social Media’s is “Ban Sterlite Save Thoothukudi“.
Being a native of Thoothukudi City, I feel it is important to express the real voice of us to the world.
Excluding Satyam TV none of the other Media shown interest during the last week protest. So what! We do not need media, media needs us. Where there is a will, there is a way
This protest against Sterlite Copper has started in Thoothukudi and gathering its pace like anything since March 24th, 2018. People all over from the world started supporting this protest. I could see a group of Tamil People in the UK protesting in front of Indian High Commission and the officials are not even accepting the petitions.
Our people protested in front of the Vedanta Group Anil Agarwal’s residence in London. Not just UK, we are gaining the support globally. The protest against Sterlite copper is not a recent event, people are protesting from the date of its establishment in Thoothukudi.
The Sulfur dioxide emission from the Sterlite is the main cause of respiratory disorders and cancer for the people of Thoothukudi and we are no longer in the state of accepting the pain and its time to wake up. (Source:Windy.com)
The location chosen is fundamentally wrong. Thoothukudi district is named for its rich flora and fauna resources. There are more than 2000+ rare marine species in Thoothukudi coastal belt. The coastal line “Gulf of Mannar” encompassing 21 small islands is declared as the National Marine Reserve Park by Tamilnadu State Government on 10th September 1986 (G.O.Ms.No.962). As per this GO, an industry shall be permitted if it is 25 Kms away from the marine reserve. The Sterlite industry is constructed 10-15 km away from the marine reserve area.
The industry was earlier planned to set up in Gujarat, later then moved to Goa, then due to huge protest, they started constructing at Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. With the support of the then Maharashtra government, the Vedanta group invested 200+ crores and started constructing its industry. But due to a vigorous protest by their local people, later they started approaching Tamil Nadu. On 16th January 1995 on the basis of environmental clearance issued by Central Environmental Ministry. On 22nd May 1995, they got clearance from the state pollution control board. With the reference to these 2 reports, they constructed Sterlite Copper Smelter plant at Tuticorin. Recently, the supreme court has questioned regulatory bodies by understanding the importance of Marine Reserve. Now both the state and the central government started playing Tom and Jerry game by blaming each other.
These regulatory bodies should have given this clearance by knowing the facts. In 5th July 1997, the workers from Ramesh Flowers 100+ working women were affected by inhaling the discharge of the poisonous gas. The affected women were treated at Tuticorin Medical College Hospital for over 5 days.
Due to such series of accidents and critical incidents during the 90s, NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) appointed to conduct an examination during 29th October-1st November 1998 and they submitted their report to the Supreme Court on 17th November 1998. NEERI gave us the first voice in questioning how this industry can be constructed within the 25km radius from the marine reserve. The Sterlite Industry falls under Red Category which means that the chances for environmental threat are high.
Even though this industry is called as a Zero discharge Industry, they discharge their waste in nearby canals which affects the domestic animals and the people who make their living from rearing them. Many lost fingers on their legs. According to the report released by NEERI in 2005, the groundwater in the region has the sign of heavy metals. This will affect the immune system of children and life expectancy of the local people will be reduced.
Why Should the people need to bear the pain for nothing? We don’t need any relief from anyone. We will make our living by ourselves, all we expect is a clean environment to live. Secondly, we want to know that our government (Both State and Union) is following of the people, by the people, for the people policy or of the corporate, by the corporate, for the corporate policy.
Share this article if you like. Comment below to register your views.