Mettur villagers to march 285 km to save Cuddalore: September 3 to September 13, 2005

APPEAL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
Mettur Polluter Chemplast Sanmar’s PVC Factory
Not Welcome in Cuddalore, Tamilnadu

Mettur residents will march 300 km from Mettur to Cuddalore to rally residents en route in support of a call to prevent Mettur polluter Chemplast Sanmar from setting up a controversial and dangerous PVC factory in SIPCOT Industrial Estate, Cuddalore. Existing Chemplast factories in Mettur have laid waste more than 2000 acres of agricultural land, polluted groundwater with toxic chemicals, and contributed to widespread ill-health among its workers and communities. An air sample taken above Chemplast’s foul-smelling effluent outfall into the Kaveri revealed high levels of cancer-causing chemicals, including ethylene dichloride (a known carcinogen) at 32,000 times above safe levels.
In early 2005, the Tamilnadu Government secretly cleared Chemplast’s proposal for a PVC factory in Cuddalore despite the fact that the plant had failed to get approval from two states in the last three years. In 2002, SIPCOT residents rejected the proposal at a Government-held public hearing. After Chemplast failed to get Tamilnadu Government’s approval due to public opposition, it took the proposal to the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh. Villagers from Krishanapatnam, the project site, visited Mettur to assess the company’s environmental and social performance. Upon their return, all political parties, panchayats and villagers unanimously rejected Chemplast’s proposal once again.
Tamilnadu Government’s clearance is highly irregular, especially given that they have chosen to clear a twice-rejected project based on 1999 submissions and without public consultation. The PVC factory sounds the death knell for the Cuddalore villages who are already reeling under the effects of pollution caused by the existing industries.
YOU CAN HELP
The walk is being organised by farmers and community groups from Mettur and Cuddalore, with the support of individuals and public interest groups. The total walk – 50 people – will start on 3 September and end on 13 September, and should cost Rs. 60,000.
Supporting organisations: West Konur Farmers Welfare Association, SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors, SEED, FEDCOT, Tamilnadu Green Movement, Tamilnadu Environment Council, Corporate Accountability Desk, Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhagam
Please contribute. Make your cheques (in Indian rupees only) in favour of:
Samarthan Trust (Write “Mettur Cuddalore march” on reverse)
C/o H 19/4 Gangai Street, Kalakshetra Colony, Besant Nagar,
Chennai – 600 090.
Ph: +91 44 2446 3763
Email: nopvcever@gmail.com
Website: www.sipcotcuddalore.com
Mettur Cuddalore Anti-PVC March: The itinerary
3 Sept – DAY 1 – Launch of the March.
5 Sept – DAY 3 – Public meeting at Salem seeking solidarity
Contact: Piyush Sethia: 9443248582 (cell)
7 Sept – DAY 5 – Public meeting at Attur seeking solidarity
Contact: Mr. Annamalai, FEDCOT. 9443826933
10 Sept – DAY 8 – Public meeting at Vriddhachalam
Contact: N. Senthamilselvam 09894580407 (cell)
13 Sept – DAY 11 – March concludes in Cuddalore. Reception and public meeting.
Contact: M. Nizamudeen. Cell: 04142 230978; 9443231978 (cell)
For more information, visit:
www.sipcotcuddalore.com

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