The Kitex Malineekarana Virudha Action Council is set to lay siege to the processing unit of the Kitex Garments in Kizhakkambalam on February 8, alleging the company was continuing to cause pollution.
On Wednesday, the Action Council convener Abdul Rahman P.M said people from Vilangu, Chelakkulam, Kavungalpparambu, and Choorakkodu wards will take part in the siege. He said authorities had failed to act against the pollution despite complaints. The company, he alleged, paid scant regard to the decisions reached at a meeting convened by the Excise Minister and the Collector.
The council alleged the company had been functioning on the strength of an illegal licence secured from the Kizhakkambalam panchayat committee and without producing consent from any authorities as required under the Panchayati Raj Act.
Kitex Garments Limited MD Sabu M. Jacob said no such decisions as claimed by the Action Council had been reached at the meeting convened by the Minister and the Collector. Three rounds of meeting were held and during the second meeting it was decided to appoint a three-member expert committee.
“We agreed to the formation of the committee on the condition that the findings of the committee should be final. The committee with a representative each from both sides and a government nominee conducted the inquiry and gave a clean chit to the company, which was signed by all three members. However, the action council declined to accept that report,” Mr. Jacob told The Hindu.
He said even a 9-member panel of RDO, Pollution Control Board chief engineer, representatives of police, panchayat president and secretary and two members of the wards concerned had come out with a similar finding under the supervision of a High Court-appointed lawyer. Following this, the HC ordered the renewal of the licence, which is valid till May 2015. Mr. Jacob said that in the light of present scenario the company had decided not to invest Rs. 260 crore as part of its expansion in the State.