CHENNAI: The DMK on Monday asked the Tamil Nadu government to order Sterlite Industries to shut down its unit in Tuticorin district if it continued to pollute the area. The party’s working president M K Stalin urged the government to protect the people in the district from the pollution caused by the company’s copper smelter plant.
In a statement, Stalin said, “Sterlite Industries is polluting the Thamirabarani river as well as soil, making it difficult for the farmers to cultivate crops. The DMK will support the protests of the local people against the company.” He said people’s health was affected and many of them were not able to breathe properly. Some of them suffered skin problems, he said.
“It has been found that the ground water has copper, arsenic, fluoride and chrome. Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board is not taking proper steps to prevent the company from polluting the area,” said Stalin. “The government should not give its nod for expansion of the factory and steps should be taken to check violations,” said Stalin.
Makkal Neethi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan in a tweet said, “This anti-Sterlite peoples’ agitation needs media support. My new status as a party leader need not be a disqualification or a deterrent. I am still part of the Tamizh population. I am committed to this cause”.
CPM state secretary K Balakrishnan said, “Besides shutting own the unit, the company should also provide employment to the workers in the unit as per the Madras high court order.”
Meanwhile, information and publicity minister Kadambur C Raju told reporters at Kovilpatti that Sterlite is conducting awareness programmes that their plant is not causing any pollution and refused to comment further stating that a case is pending before the court.