Friday, June 15, 2012

Left Parties Demand Closure of White asbestos plant in public interest

Press Release

Left Parties Demand Closure of White asbestos plant in public interest

Registration of Case Against the Management of Utkal Asbestos Company Sought

Seek Dismissal of Fake Case by Utkal Management

Patna/New Delhi: All the left parties have jointly demanded that closure of the proposed white asbestos plant of Utkal Asbestos Limited (UAL) company in Chaksultan Rampur Rajdhari near Panapur in Kanhauli Dhanraj Panchayat of in Goraul block in Vaishali. ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) welcomes the united stand of all the progressive parties against the killer asbestos factories.

The joint statement of Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (ML) Liberation, Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) and Forward Bloc took cognisance of the protest against the lung cancer causing hazardous plant of Utkal Asbestos Limited (UAL) on June 14 in front of the factory gate under the banner of Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jan Sangharsh Committee (KBJBJC). The protest has been going on for the last 2 years.

The statement observed that the villagers had opposed the hazardous plant even at the time of Public Hearing. It took note of the usual collusion between the factory owners and the ruling political parties.

The statement underlined that local officials like DM, BDO and SDO besides the head of the government were informed prior to the June 14 Mahadharana in front of the factory gate. When thousands of men, women and children were siting in scorching sunlight from 8 AM onwards and speeches against the killer factory was being delivered. TWA was present at the site of the Mahadharana. The pictures are attached.

In the presence of the police, the villagers all of a sudden noticed that fire and smoke was getting airborne from the premises of the factory whose gates were locked. It is quite clear that the management of the company lit the fire in collusion with the local police and administration officials in order to frame the protesting villagers in fake cases to ensure that movement against the hazardous plant does not happen.

The statement condemned this act of company management and demanded:

1. White asbestos plant should be closed in public interest keeping public health in mind

2. Register case against the management of Utkal Asbestos company sought for hatching a conspiracy by burning its own factory premises

3. Dismiss fake case registered by Utkal Management

Expressing support to the villagers protest against the asbestos factory, Jan Abhiyan, Bihar, a shared platform of democratic and revolutionary organisations too has issued a statement and endorsed the above demands. Jan Abhiyan comprises of Janmukti Sangharsh Vahini, Janwadi Mazdoor Kisan Sabha, Communist Party of India (ML)-SR Bhaiji, Jan Pratirodh Manch, Janwadi Lok Manch, Communist Party of India (ML)-New Democracy, Sarwahara Jan Morcha, MCPI (U), Communist Party of India (ML).

TWA's letter to the Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar in this regard is attached.

TWA appreciates the support of the left parties for asbestos free India movement which is gathering momentum.

TWA urges media persons of the State to ensure that balanced and objective reporting of the movement sets a healthy precedent and saves the profession from ignominy.

TWA appeals to all the political parties and the environmental, social and human rights organisations to support the struggle of the villagers against the hazardous white asbestos plant to save the present and future generations from incurable lung diseases at time.

When more than 55 countries have banned asbestos and all the relevant UN's scientific and health organisations have called for the elimination of killer fibers of white asbestos, In this conflict between scientific truth and money power of the company in questions, the truth is with the villagers. State Government is defending the indefensible.

For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 08002263335, 09818089660, Phone: +91-11-26517814, Fax: +91-11-26517814

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