A few poultry feed mill was sealed in Nallipalayam near here on Friday following several complaints of foul smell and protests by locals. Sources said that a group of villagers intercepted two vehicles carrying dry fish to one of the mills on Friday and submitted a petition to the Collector seeking action against the mills from where foul smell was emanating.
“We stopped a truck and an autorickshaw carrying dry fish to the mills. Despite the assurance given by mill owners that they would wind up by the end of the month, they continued to take several loads of dry fish. So we jumped into action on Friday”, said R Devendran, a resident of East Street, Nallipalayam.
Officials including the Namakkal municipal tried to pacify the protesters, but in vain. The villagers were firm on their demand and wanted the units to be shifted out of the area. As negotiations failed, officials visited the mills and directed the proprietors to remove the dry fish kept at the mills for grinding.
Tension prevailed in the area when a group of employees, mostly women, resisted the move and said that they would lose their livelihood if the mills are shut. “About three hundred persons are working in the mills. If the mills are shifted, we will be left with no other option but to end our lives,” Chellam, a labourer, said.
One of the mill owners, S P Subramanian, said, “ A group is working against the poultry feed mills with an ulterior motive”. The officials finally decided to seal the machinery in a few units. “On Friday, we sealed machinery in some of the mills following protests,” said S Sezhian, Commissioner, Namakkal Municipality.