Dupont decried

After the Thapar-Dupont plant was driven out of Goa, and it found a refuge in Tamil Nadu, a ho,n,t's nest has again been stirred up

By N Ramesh
Published: Thursday 30 November 1995

-- (Credit: Rustam Vania)FOR Thapar-Dupont Limited (TDi I has been opposition all the wav fn Goa to Gummidipoondi - 45 lcm fr Madras. Even before the decision relocate the Rs 600 crore Nylon plant was finalised, some Tamil Na NGos had collected details about plant. Immediately after the m between the Tamil Nadu governin, and the TDL was signed on )one 8. Anti Dupont Nylon 6,6 Joint Acti Committee (ADN-JAC) was formed June 24.

The ADN-JAC and the newh, f med Gummidipoonch Environm Protection Council (GEPC) carried o hectic campaign. But the TD[ OM its public relations office Gummidipoonch to "allay" the like fears. "The company acquired i5.48 They are also planning to occi the adjoining 162 ha of Porambokku (common lands) lands which is now used as grazing ground for cattle," complains local youth activist Radhakrishnan. In fact, the state industrial promotion corporation (SIPCOT) had promised another 60.75 ha for the plant.

There are no takers for the company's claim that there would be no effluent discharge. The company also claims that only 0.3 per cent of waste would be generated from the additives used in the plant. This would yet result in hazardous waste of 50 tonne per year and several cubic metres of toxic liquid. In case of waste incineration, there is no mention of the gases to be released.

The water requirement of the proposed plant would put the local people of Gummidipoondi - a dry area - under major constraints. Initially, the plant will be supplied 27 lakh litre per day from SIPCOT water supply scheme. An additional 45 litre per day had also been assured by the government from the Araniyar river before the plant becomes operational in mid 1997.

Already 24 steel plants operating in the area were sourcing their water requirements from the wells in the adjacent villages. Small land holders were affected by this since the well owners prefer to sell water to the steel plants. But revenue officials have already marked borewell sites in the vicinity of a village which will affect irrigation, comOains a GEPc activist.

The company has not obtained durance from the Central Governmient. It insists that nylon 6,6 comes owder'humanmade fibres' which does aw figure in the list of 29 industries listed as hazardous for mandatory clearance. But since the Nylon 6,6 plant uses adipic acid and other hazardons chemicals, it comes under petrochelmcal complex category.

The TDL has commissioned the Tata Consultancy Services for an 'independent' Environment Impact Assessment to obtain the permission of the state pollution control board, "For an EIA, public hearing is essential. And for an EIA one year period is mandatory. But here they have gone in for a 'rapid' EIA. The request from ADN-JAC for more details about the project is met with silence," says an ADN-JAC researcher.

Besides the danger of acid rain from the sulphur dioxide emission from the 8 mw captive power plant, the transportation of adipic and other acids from Madras to the plant site through thickly populated areas is also enraging the activists.

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