THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan came out against the state government for giving environmental clearance to tar mixing units, functioning at a distance of 25 metres from houses. Achuthanandan stated that the move was against the Supreme Court order and an expert committee report.
In a letter to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, he demanded the circular to be withdrawn immediately. In the circular, it has been said that Bitumen plants can be set up 25 metres away from homes. “This is unscientific and would adversely affect the health of the people. The decision is against the Supreme Court order, which had specified that the plants should only be set up in uninhabitated places,” he said.
A study conducted in 2012 by the PWD for KSTP project has recommended that such units should only be set up 250 metres away from houses. In Kerala, the PWD manual prescribed the permissible distance from houses as 150 metres, Achuthanandan said. On the basis of this circular, a bitumen-mixing plant has been functioning in a thickly populated area in Kadapra in Pathanamthitta district, which has been causing several health issues to the people, he added. The plant is located near to a Scheduled caste colony and a LP school, he said, and asked the government to remove the plant immediately.