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Monday, September 18, 2006

Opinion sought on new projects in Tuticorin

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) conducted a public hearing at the Collectorate here on Thursday, to elicit the views of the public on the proposed multi-crore projects to be taken up by three private firms in Tuticorin on an outlay of Rs.1,583.79 crore.

The Collector, R Palaniyandi, chairman of the Public Hearing Committee, recorded the opinions on the Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment (REIA) report presented by the Sterlite Industries (India) Limited, Ind-Barath Power Gencom Limited and DCW Limited, on their projects.

The DCW Limited plans to upgrade its plant at Sahupuram, near here, at a cost of Rs.475.79 crore, including establishment of a plant to convert mercury cell to membrane cell at a cost of Rs.160 crore to avoid pollution, a reverse osmosis nanosystem and synthetic grade iron oxide plant at a cost of Rs.125 crore and a co-generation power plant on an outlay of Rs.175 crore.

The remaining amount was earmarked for other development works.

The Ind-Barath Power Gencom Limited proposes to establish a 3X63 mw thermal power plant at Keezha Velayudhapuram at an estimated cost of Rs.598 crore. Presenting the REIA, the company officials said the power generated would be distributed to the State grid and to industries situated near the plant.

The Sterlite Industries proposes to establish 2X60 mw coal based power plant to generate power to meet its captive requirements and export a share to the State power grid at an estimated cost of Rs.510 crore.

A group of social activists led by Anton Gomez of National Union of Fishermen walked out from the public hearing, expressing dissatisfaction over the pollution control measures taken by the Sterlite Industries in their previous ventures.

Refuting the allegations, A. Thirunavakarasu, General Manager of Sterlite, stated that adequate amount was earmarked to combat pollution in the proposed project too.

Dr. Palaniyandi asked Tagore De Rose, another activist, to confine his views to the project, when he tried to praise previous projects of Sterlite Industries as a counter to the allegations made against the company by a section of the public. Tension prevailed for a while when members of various NGOs, who supported the DCW's project and those who opposed it, got engaged in verbal duels. S. Shanmugasundaram, District Environmental Engineer, TNPCB, was also present.

Source: The Hindu

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