The State Government has sought a detailed Action Taken Report (ATR) from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) on the pollution allegedly caused by chemical industries to water bodies including River Cauvery, and villages and hamlets in and around Mettur.

In response to the Madras High Court’s direction, N. Thirumurthy, Deputy Secretary, Department of Environment and Forests, Government of Tamil Nadu asked the TNPCB Chairman to “send an action taken report on the complaints of pollution (due to chemical industries in and around Mettur) to Government immediately.”

The official pointed out that the State Government had received a letter in this regard from the Joint Registrar-cum- Private Secretary to the Chief Justice of Madras High Court, dated August 27, 2012 and addressed to Salem Collector and a copy marked to the Government.

The issue was brought to the notice of the Chief Justice through a letter written by a Salem-based social worker A. Radhakrishnan who claimed that the pollution from chemical industries in and around Mettur had started affecting the health of the people there. The effluents from the industries, he said, had not only polluted water resources but also degraded the soil, making agriculture and rearing of milch animals unviable.

Mr. Radhakrishnan also claimed that these industries were letting out poisonous effluents at various points. “Those officials who should have inspected and monitored dangerous discharges have turned a blind eye, thus supporting factory managements. This has caused a serious disenchantment among the public here. If such acts continue, it would turn Mettur into a graveyard soon,” he further said in his letter to the Chief Justice.

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