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Send back Japanese ship, says CPI (M)

Special Correspondent
The Hindu, 10 March 2009

No harm in berthing: company

CUDDALORE: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has voiced its apprehension over a Japanese ship carrying vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) berthed at the Cuddalore Port since February 26.

District secretary of the CPI (M) S.Dhanasekaran in a statement here stated that the cargo meant for the upcoming PVC pipe manufacturing plant of the Chemplast Sanmar Ltd did not seem to have got the consent of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

The party voiced concern that the berthing of a vessel with unauthorised chemicals might endanger the ecology and the marine life. It expressed anguish over the slackness of the officials in allowing the vessel to ferry chemicals of dangerous nature.

Charge refuted
The company sources told The Hindu that the VCM was an ingredient for the manufacture of poly-vinyl chloride (PVC) pipes. It was a semi-finished product in liquid form and highly inflammable in nature—characteristics similar to the cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas.

Hence, the sources refuted the allegation that it was an objectionable cargo brought in surreptitiously. The company had cleared the Customs formalities and but for the intervening government holidays it would have by now obtained the TNPCB consent too. The sources further said that the company was following ethical practices and for the PVC unit it had adopted the 4G (fourth generation) technology. A jetty was constructed at Chithiraipettai for the ships to anchor and from there the VCM would be carried through a two-layered pipeline laid under water to the plant at Semmanguppam.

Since the entire pipeline was radiographed and valves were fixed at regular intervals any minor defect could be easily detected and remedial measures taken immediately. There would absolutely be no spillage during the operation.

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