CHENNAI: North Chennai youth on Saturday have demanded an indefinite moratorium on setting up of new industries or expansion of existing industrial activities in the Ennore-Manali-Pulicat region.
A study titled "Poison in the Air" conducted by Chennai Climate Action Group, a city-based youth collective, claims that 59 percent of 2019, the six major polluting industries in Ennore-Manali region operated in violation of the emission norms.
The study analyzed over 18 lakh hours of the stack emissions data of TANGEDCO’s North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS) Stage I, NTECL Vallur power plant, Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL), Tamil Nadu Petroproducts Ltd (TPL), Manali Petrochemicals Ltd (MPL), and Madras Fertilizers Ltd (MFL) obtained from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) Care Air Centre through RTI.
Addressing a press conference, 17-year-old J Janani and G Santosh from Manali said TNPCB may ask children to limit the bursting of crackers keeping air pollution in mind, but it's daily deepavali for us.
Janani said as if pollution from existing industries was not enough, the government is planning to set-up more. "Any more industries would make the region inhospitable," she said.
Despite the already prevalent poor air quality and ailing local health, the Ennore-Manali region has only one Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station. Members of Chennai Climate Action Group said a large chunk of Rs 80 crore fund, which was allocated by the Union government to Greater Chennai Corporation for cleaning up Chennai's air, should be spent in Ennore-Manali region and at least 100 air quality monitors should be installed.
At least 3000 MW of coal-fired power generation capacity, a plastics industrial estate, a petrochemical industrial township in Ponneri, and a 320 tonnes per annum mega port (nearly 8 times the combined capacity of the Chennai Port and Kamarajar Port) are newly proposed in the region.