State Transport Minister Senthil Balaji on Saturday announced Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s decision to shift the site of the proposed integrated dyeing park from Punnam.
The announcement was made during a free laptop distribution function held at the Punnam Adidravidar higher secondary school.
Meanwhile, residents of the Punnam panchayat and its surroundings hailed the announcement. Around 150 acres were earmarked for the establishment of the integrated dyeing park which is located 10 km from here. The project was estimated at Rs 285 crore but invited stiff opposition from locals on pollution issues. Around 50,000 acres of farm lands were perceived to be under threat had the park come up in the area, they claimed.
Residents of Punnam and surrounding panchayats, including Pavithram, Visvanathapuri, West Aandankovil, East Aandankovil, Karudayampalayam and Kuppam had resisted the implementation of the project fearing contamination of the water bodies, ground water and agricultural lands. There are several lakes, ponds and canals that leads to the Pallapalayam Rajavaikal which is the ater resource for irrigation lands.
To make matters worse, the village had suffered a heavy drought and water scarcity still prevails. Balaji said, in order to enhance industrial development across the district, the Chief Minister had directed the establishment of a dyeing park that would be implemented with the latest technology. Based on this, required lands from Punnam panchayat was chosen for implementing the integrated dyeing park, he added.
As the residents had submitted petitions requesting not to establish such a park in their neighbourhood, the Chief Minister has announced to change the location of the park, he said.
The residents’ joy knew no bounds after the announcement was made. The people greeted each other and lauded the CM for heeding their representations. Tamil Cheran of Punam, a prominent resident, said the announcement has been welcomed by the people of Punnam and nearby areas.
Association for Farmers Affected by Dye Effluents president Ramasamy told Express, it was a happy occasion to hear the announcement of withdrawal of the dyeing park.