Let’s Make Engineering Simple (LEMS) Academy, an organisation set up to take science to people, after a study, has revealed that there are other industries that are polluting Thoothukudi manifold than Sterlite
The self-styled environmentalists, fringe political outfits singled out Vedanta's Sterlite copper smelter plant leaving other most polluting industries in Thoothukudi, popularly known as Pearl city. Let’s Make Engineering Simple (LEMS) Academy, an organisation set up to take science to people, after a study has revealed that there are other industries that are polluting the city manifold than Sterlite. It says companies like SPIC, TAC, DCW and VV Minerals (owned by News7 Channel owner V Vaikunda Rajan) are the major polluters, and Sterlite is the best of the lot.
The LEMS study pointed out that NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) found that it was the Kilburn Chemicals of VV Minerals Groups that was responsible for groundwater contamination in the area. In a video that LEMS released on its study, asks whether the protests held in Thoothukudi were to protect the city’s environment or just shut Sterlite. If their aim was to protect the environment, then they should have questioned at least three other companies that are polluting the city more than any other firm. These three companies are V V Titanium Pigments Private Limited, Southern Petrochemicals Industries Corporation (SPIC) and Tuticorin Alkalis Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited (TACL). V Vaikundarajan has also been charged with illegally mining beach sand. A writ petition is currently being heard by the Madras High Court in which at least two reports have said that beach sand was illegally mined by his firm V V Minerals and a couple of other companies.
Water in Thoothukudi and two other villages nearby, Therku Veerapandiyapuram and Kumara Ettiyapuram – was found below quality. In Thoothukudi, citizens are more concerned about an open ground near Sterlite, that belongs to V V Titanium Pigments, where most hazardous chemicals are being discharged on the ground for more than one square kilometre. The report also said, in the effluent let out by SPIC and TACL, the amount of ammonia released was 121 mg/l against the limit of 0.5.
Manoj Baskar of LEMS questioned Fathima Babu, who is fighting legally against Sterlite, motives that are suspective and prejudiced. She said Sterlite is among only a handful of companies that can be categorised as Large, Red Category, Hazardous Industries. The two thermal power plants, SPIC and DCW are the others. VV Titanium (earlier Kilburn) is also a Red Category industry, but far smaller than Sterlite, SPIC or DCW. She also denied charges that she was sitting in air-conditioned rooms, instigate people to action, and watch while they get beaten and killed by police bullets. Now, will the so-called environmentalists force the State government to close down other industries? or the Tamil Nadu government face the court when these facts are presented before it to prove that there are companies that are polluting Thoothukudi far more than the closed Sterlite?