Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan on Saturday called for urgent steps to rehabilitate the people of Panmana panchayat in Kollam district who had been affected by the pollutants discharged from the Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML),Chavara.
After visiting the affected areas, Achuthanandan, in a statement, said that the pollutants were causing fatal diseases including cancer. Around 1,500 families in an area of over 400 acres of land, in four wards of Panmana panchayat, are affected and they have to be rehabilitated.
Severe environmental disasters have also been noted in the area. The pollutants which are flushed out, after the production of titanium dioxide from mineral sand, has been causing the disaster.
The pollutants containing monosite, iron fluoride and magnesium are drained out to the water bodies. There has also been scarcity of drinking water, following the mixing up of pollutants with the water bodies. A report from the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) had stated that 25 per cent of the residents here were suffering from cancer.
Achuthanandan pointed out that the Industries Minister had already announced about taking over of 150 acres of land. But that is not enough. He said 400 acres of land had to be taken over by the company and all the affected people should be rehabilitated in secured places.
The Opposition leader also pointed out that fish resources of Ashtamudi lake had also declined following the contamination of water.