Take steps to contain pollution: TU leaders
Leaders of trade unions. SC, ST, BC and Dalit Welfare Organisations alerted the management of the Vizag Steel Plant in taking necessary steps to contain the existing pollution to ensure sufficient water supply and observe social justice in providing employment to the displaced persons at the public hearing held in connection with the proposed expansion of Vizag Steel Plant production from 6.3 m
Visakhapatnam: Leaders of trade unions. SC, ST, BC and Dalit Welfare Organisations alerted the management of the Vizag Steel Plant in taking necessary steps to contain the existing pollution to ensure sufficient water supply and observe social justice in providing employment to the displaced persons at the public hearing held in connection with the proposed expansion of Vizag Steel Plant production from 6.3 mts to 7.3 mts per annum here at Ukkunagaram on Thursday.
- Many express convern over growing pollution
- Leaders question about conduct of public hearing when 50 per cent of work nearing completion
The regional office of the AP Pollution Control Board has conducted the public hearing in which Collector Pravin Kumar, joint chief environmental engineer Lakshminarayana and plant representatives were present. Nearly 30 persons from various unions and welfare organisations expressed their opinion with regard to the steps to be taken to contain the pollution.
Initiating the programme, the plant representatives gave a PowerPoint presentation on the proposed expansion work and steps to be taken for taking up a massive plantation and modernisation of equipment to help contain the intensity of various effluents to be released from the plant.
General secretary of Dalita Hakkula Porata Samithi B Venkata Rao while welcoming the Steel Plant expansion work from 6.3 mts to 7.3 mts, told the public hearing focusing mainly on social justice while distributing the benefits arose out of expansion and providing employment to the displaced persons and Dalits.
He felt that some rules and regulations have become stumbling blocks to those displaced who lost their entire land and houses for the plant in securing employment. Venkata Rao appealed to the district administration to direct the plant management to be more liberal in amending the rules in case of age relaxation, technical qualifications, woman candidates and change of ‘R’ Cards to help provide employment.
He also urged for taking necessary steps to implement reservations even in the contract jobs as per the state government GO, along with permanent jobs. “The company management should be further directed to maintain ecological balance by protecting environment at the tribal areas of Maadaram and Jaggayyapet where the mining activity would be increased with the expansion in the steel production”, he explained.
CPM State Secretariat member Ch Narasinga Rao alleged that no steps have been taken to contain the growing pollution at Chepalapalem village near the plant despite repeated representations to the management. Suggesting to take necessary measures for environmental protection, he expressed doubt about the marketing opportunities for the steel produced after expansion of the plant.
um of Rs 8,000 crore was spent for the plant installed capacity of 3.2 mts, Rs 14,000 crore for another 3.1 mts expansion and why Rs 9,000 crore for mere expansion of one mt per annum. Some others raised why the Pollution Control Board is conducting public hearing now when the inside expansion work is already nearing 50 per cent of completion.
Another leader raised to ensure sufficient water supply for the plant well before going for expansion as it has been facing water problem every year.Responding to the demand for creating employment opportunities, plant representative informed that they were not able to do due to court judgments. The Collector assured the participants that a detailed report would be sent to the Central government.