Saturday, August 23, 2008

Join the residents of SIPCOT demading no more chemical/pollution industries in Cuddalore

Join the Residents of SIPCOT in Demanding
"No Further Industrialisation of SIPCOT Cuddalore with Chemical and Polluting Industries"

Public Meeting
22 August 2008 (Friday);
4.00 pm to 6.00 pm
Opposite Collector's Office in New Town Cuddalore


Cuddalore is reeling under pollution, and its people are suffering. Chemical industries in Cuddalore have destroyed lives and livelihoods of thousands. According to a latest scientific report prepared by Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute on air pollution in and around SIPCOT chemical industrial estate, there are atleast 94 chemicals in the ambient air, including 15 that are known hazardous air pollutants. The report also estimates that SIPCOT Cuddalore residents are at least 2000 times more likely to contract cancer in their lifetimes due to their exposure to high levels of toxic gases from chemical industries in the region.

Anybody traveling on the Cuddalore-Chidambaram highway can smell the horrible smells from the industrial estate. Entire villages live inside the industrial estate, adjacent to hazardous factories. Gas leaks and industrial accidents are a common feature in SIPCOT Cuddalore.

Rather than take action to reduce the pollution and preventing toxic exposure to the community and environment, the Tamil Nadu Government has earmarked coastal Cuddalore for locating the dirtiest and most hazardous industries in the area. According to senior Government officials, the Government has decided to concentrate polluting industries in Cuddalore based on the perverse logic that it is wiser to pollute an already polluted place.

In the most recent move to pursue its agenda to sacrifice the communities of Cuddalore for the "larger good" the Government has given environmental clearance to a Chlorinated Polyethylene manufacturer – Aria Chemicals to set up its facility in the neighbourhood of Sonanchavadi, a fishing village in SIPCOT phase II.

Aria Chemicals will manufacture 20000 tonnes of Chlorinated Polyethylene. It will use at least 40 tonnes of deadly chemical chlorine daily to achieve its target production. Chlorine is a known toxic volatile gas used regularly in the industrial processes. Exposure to low levels of chlorine can cause eye and nose irritation, cough, change in heart beat and extreme exposure could even result in death.

The Government also has plans to set up the following toxic projects for the region in the future:

  1. Nagarjuna Oil Refinery, Thyagavelli Panchayat: The 6 million tonne/year refinery is coming up near the coast. This will cause widespread air pollution (see Manali area in North Chennai), and will pollute the sea with oil. Effluents will be disposed at sea. Groundwater will be extracted.
  2. 1350 MW capacity coal-fired thermal power plant, Naduthittu: The plant will generate more than 300,000 tonnes of toxic flyash, and air pollution.
  3. SIMA Textile Park, Chinnandikuzhi, Periyapattu village: Much bigger than the Tiruppur dyeing factories, units in this park are set to come up on prime agricultural land. The toxic effluents will be disposed into the sea.
  4. Shipbuilding Yard, near Cuddalore harbour.

The communities in Cuddalore is up in arms against pollution and polluting industries.

Support their struggle for a toxic free future.

For more details contact:

In Chennai – Shweta Narayan – 9444024315

In Cuddalore – T. Arulselvam – 9443737134

Protest against new chemical/ polluting industries in SIPCOT Cuddalore

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