The 50-year-old homemaker began the protest against setting up of a plywood unit a few feet away from her home in Rayamangalam panchayat.

The ongoing struggle against plywood manufacturing units situated amid residential colonies in Perumbavoor took a turn on Monday with a homemaker launching an indefinite fast in front of the house of Rayamangalam panchayat president.

The ‘fast-unto-death’ agitation is being supported by environmental activists and Environmental Protection Samithi, a local organisation fighting against illegal plywood units operating in the area.

P.C. Cyriac, social activist and former civil servant, inaugurated the agitation.

Karthyayani, the 50-year-old homemaker, began the protest against setting up of a plywood manufacturing unit a few feet away from her home in Rayamangalam panchayat. The sanction for the unit was given by the local panchayat, violating the rule that factories should not be set up within 50 feet of residential units, according to the Samithi activists. The activists also alleged that the unit was being set up on encroached land. An advocates’ commission set up by Munsiff court, Perumbavoor, had also verified the extent of encroachment, according to the Samithi.

The Samithi had launched an indefinite dharna in front of Rayamangalam panchayt office in protest against sanction given to new plywood units. The activists said the new move came as a surprise as a central empowered committee set up by Supreme Court in a case filed by a petitioner in the panchayat had recommended action against erring units and had sought halt to permission for new units.

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