BARB FROM BHARUCH Sign MoU with us to shut chemical plant and save usIndian Express, 9th January 2011
Ahead of bash, farmers fire a stinker to CM
Even as the state government machinery gives final touches to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit 2011, farmers from 12 villages in Bharuch and surrounding regions have shot off a letter to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to sign an MoU with them to close down the Bharuch Eco Aqua Infrastructure Limited's Final Treatment Plant.
The letter was faxed to the CMO on Friday. Modi inaugurated the chemical plant in January 25, 2007. Villagers allege the plant is adding to the pollution in the area which already has a number of chemical units and have threatened legal action if they are not compensated for the damage to their crops allegedly caused over the last three years.
"Our fields were polluted 12 times in the last three years because of leaking pipes carrying effluents and we lost our crops. It is the same plant which CM inaugurated. We expect him to take action with the promptness he shows for industries," Salim Usmangani Patel, the deputy sarpanch of Piraman Gram Panchayat, said.
"The design of the pipeline carrying effluents is not according to the gradient. Moreover, many units are even dumping solid waste into the pipeline," said Rohit Prajapati, an environmental activist.
K R Desai, who is the chief executive officer of the chemical plant, said: "The last incident of damage to pipeline took place on September 7 last year. Insurance officials were called and they surveyed the damage to nearby fields. At that time, there were seven claimants. Today, there are 53 and the number grows everyday. While the claims of huge amounts will be dealt as per rules, we are talking to farmers to compensate them in case of small claims."
Ahmed Patel's co-villagers lament inaction
Farmers say despite repeated pleas, no political leader has promised help, not even powerful Congress leader Ahmed Patel, whose own house in his native village of Piraman village is getting water unfit for drinking. "When it's between farmers and industries, they side with the latter," said Ilyas Patel, deputy sarpanch of the village.
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