Dow India’s R&D facility embroiled in controversy

Economic Times, 25 Feb, 2008
PUNE: A proposed Research and Development facility of Dow India at a village near Pune has raised environmental concerns among social groups who have launched an agitation to press scrapping of the project.

Notwithstanding persistent claims by the multinational chemical company that it has no plans to convert the R&D center into a manufacturing unit across the 100 acres of land it has acquired through Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) at village Shinde, the protest by locals and activists continues.
The Lokshasan Andolan, an umbrella organisation for other social groups opposed to the Dow project, said the agitation will be further intensified with staging of street plays and a Lok Adalat (mock trial) will be held to expose the company’s plans on March 14 to be attended by its national convener P B Sawant, a former Supreme court judge.
A skeptical Justice (Retd) B G Kolse Patil, a former High Court judge, who heads the state unit of Lokshasan Andolan and is coordinating the agitation, that Dow India had clandestine plans to use the Shinde project for manufacturing processes which has found a mention in the MOU the company had signed with Maharashtra government.
“If they wanted an R&D unit, why did they not choose a location in the West?” he asked, claiming that the company had a dubious track record with many of its products facing a ban in Europe and America.
In an official statement, the company has refuted the allegations.

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