A volcano of anger lies hidden in the plywood belt of Perumbavoor, which could spiral into deadly conflicts if the authorities turn a blind eye to the protests against plywood units in the area.
The difference of opinion among the residents regarding the shifting of plywood units calls for strict action by the authorities to prevent any such incidents.
The Action Council for Environmental Protection, which has been demanding the shifting of the units, is getting ready for another round of intense agitation after the plywood manufacturers’ attempt to start new units in the residential areas.
The opening of a new unit at Peechinamukal in Rayamangalam panchayat had sparked protests from the people and the action council a few days ago.
An existing Veneer unit was converted for plywood manufacturing, which is likely to create more pollution as harmful, polluting chemicals are used in the manufacture of plywood. A meeting that was convened by the Action Council at a neighbouring house was attacked by miscreants in the night. Police have reportedly taken five people into custody following the incident.
The unit is said to be operated by people having links with the local panchayat authorities.
Action Council leader Varghese Pulluvazhy said the agitation would be revived in the absence of concrete action to stop functioning of units operating in housing colonies. The Council had staged rallies, dharnas and hunger strike to highlight the issue.
The agitation was called off earlier after promises of remedial action were made by the district administration, Pollution Control Board and other authorities.
Keywords: Perumbavoor plywood pollution