150 Villagers Besiege Paper Factory Over Air Pollution
Irate members of the public besieged the cement factory of Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited (TNPL) here, as raw material from there, carried by the wind, was causing health problems for people living in villages around the factory.
Sources said that on Saturday night over 150 persons from the villages of Moolimangalam, Sottaiyur and Moorthipalayam, coming under Kagithapuram town panchayat, besieged the cement factory attached to TNPL at Kagithapuram. They claimed that crushed raw material dumped in the backyard of the factory was left uncovered. The wind carried it to the surrounding areas and many people were suffering with eye and nose irritation. People were afraid to open their doors.
They resorted to a protest since the TNPL administration had not paid attention to their request to cover the dumped raw material, they said.
The Velayuthampalayam police went to the spot and tried to negotiate with the people and disperse them. But they continued to agitate in front of the factory premises, and the protest went on for nearly two hours. They blocked the gate of the factory and prevented staff and vehicles from coming out when their shift was over. Only after some officials spoke to the crowd and assured them they would look into the matter very soon was the protest withdrawn. The agitators warned that they would repeat their protest if their grievance was not addressed as promised.
TNPL officials, when contacted, refused to comment on the issue and said that they could only convey the issue to headquarters at Chennai.