The farmers associations and NGOs here have appealed to the State government to form an expert committee comprising environmentalists, sociologists, farmers, women and representatives of NGOs to assess the damage caused by polluting industries in all districts, especially in Vellore and Thoothukudi. The committee should conduct an independent and unbiased study on the damage caused to the environment, health of people and animals, water system, professions and lifestyle, to arrive at the relief measures needed, extent of compensation for the affected people in the region besides steps to reverse the damage to the ecology.
R Mullai, state executive member of the Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, affiliated to the All India Kisan Sabha, opined that the apex court should have sought a report from a group of experts to assess the damage caused by pollution from industries, before imposing a meager fine of `100 crore on the Sterlite Industries in Thoothukudi.
A Asokan, secretary, Movement for Environmental Protection and Social Development, said there was no study to assess the qualitative and quantitative impact of pollution on health condition of people and animals. The State government should play its role by constituting expert committee that must reassess the pollution damage and initiate steps to provide fair relief measures, he added.