350 Fisherfolk Demonstrate for Bhopal in Tuticorin

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Demand end to slow-motion Bhopals in their own community
Received a belated update from Prof. Fatima Babu of Tuticorin. More than 350 fisherfolk and women activists from Tuticorin took out a procession through the streets of Tuticorin concluding with a street meeting at the shrine of “Our Lady of Snows.” The procession was marked by slogan shouting, and a commentary on the Bhopal disaster and its relevance to Tuticorin. Tuticorin, also known as Pearl City for its historical export of natural pearls, is a bustling port town located alongside the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park. Owing to the sea access, the town has attracted a disproportionate number of polluting industries. A mercury-cell chloralkali unit of DCW Ltd, SPIC Ltd’s fertiliser complex, coal-fired thermal power plants and a totally illegal copper smelter belonging to UK-based multinational Vedanta Resources Plc’s subsidiary Sterlite Industries India Ltd are the slow-motion Bhopals in the town. Tuticorin’s industrialists exercise a stranglehold over the media here, including on the mainstream national media. While the Bhopal rally was covered extensively in the media, all of the media outlets failed to report the warnings of the demonstrators about the Bhopals waiting to happen in factories such
as Sterlite’s.
Sterlite’s notorious copper smelter has claimed more than 13 lives and injured 139 people in a period of 8 years. For this remarkable achievement, the company received a prestigious safety award from the British Safety Council in 2002. Sterlite is the first copper smelter in the world to receive such an award.
For more information on Vedanta Sterlite’s controversial factory in Tuticorin, visit: http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=12783

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