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Closure order issued to units evokes a mixed response

1 September 2009

Special Correspondent
The Hindu

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Two units in SIPCOT estate ordered closed for air pollution

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CUDDALORE: The closure orders issued by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to two units in the SIPCOT Industrial Estate here have evoked a mixed response.

According to a statement from D. Sekar, District Environmental Engineer, TNPCB, Cuddalore, the air survey was conducted in the vicinity of the units -- Shasun Chemicals and Drugs Ltd and Tagros Chemicals India Ltd -- had revealed presence of carcinogenic volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the ambient air.

As the units had failed to implement adequate pollution control measures and safeguard public health and environment, direction for their closure and stoppage of power supply were issued under Section 31-A of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981. The power supply was disconnected the same evening.

A group of residents from Kudikadu staged a demonstration in front of the Collectorate here on Monday endorsing the action of the TNPCB and calling for the permanent closure of the units.

They claimed that the untreated effluents from these units were causing severe air pollution and also affecting the quality of groundwater, thereby posing health hazards. They urged the authorities to safeguard the welfare of people living in the surrounding areas.

Even while they were raising slogans against the units, another group of people led by R. Sridhar of the SIPCOT CITU staged a counter agitation.

Mr Sridhar said the closure of the units would affect the livelihood of many persons. He pointed out that of 30 units initially established in the industrial estate, 20 had closed down for various reasons. The authorities must strictly enforce pollution control norms and allow the units to function within the parameters.

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