Press Trust of India, Express news service, February 21, 2008
Pune, February 20: Denouncing the state-level committee formed by the government to hear all issues against the setting up of the R&D centre by Dow Chemical near Chakan, residents of Shinde and Vasuli villlages reiterated their resolve to continue the agitation against the company. In a media interaction here on Wednesday, some 20 villagers pledged their resolve to keep the company out of their villages.
Backed by Lokayat, Lokshashan Andolan and several other organisations from Pune, a mass agitation against the Dow Chemical unit has been planned in the city -at Alka chowk – on February 23.
With the villagers not allowing any vehicle to ply to the construction site for the last 35 days, former sarpanch Shantaram Panman said they would keep the agitation on and pledged to fight the company “until death or till the company leaves the villages.’’ At a press meet, Panman and other villagers said they were firm in their resolve and were happy that they were getting support from many organisations to fight against the company that took over Union Carbide, responsible for the Bhopal gas disaster.
Some of the organisations lending support to the villagers of Shinde and Vasuli are Lokshashan Andolan, Lokayat, Pune Municipal Employees Union, Hamal Panchayat, Shramik Mahila Morcha, Sarva Shramik Sanghtana, Maharashtra State Government Employees Association, Insurance Employees Union, Insurance Pensioners Association, Rashtra Seval Dal, Maharashtra Nurses Federation and Shramik Ekta Mahasangh.
Former justice of the Bombay High Court BG Kolse Patil said that they would keep the agitation on and were not interested in any further discussions with anyone as they had already submitted a memorandum in the last meeting with the state government appointed committee headed by Principal Secretary, Environment.
Former justice of Supreme Court PB Sawant said the company coming to Shinde would affect the entire Pune city and each and everyone should take up the initiative to protest against the company.
Hamal Panchayat’s Baba Adhav and Subhas Ware from Rashtra Seva Dal expressed their solidarity on this issue and rendered their support. Neeraj Jain of Lokayat pointed out that the necessary environmental permissions too have not been cleared.