Elamaram Karim visits the clay factory at Menankulam
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Industries Minister Elamaram Karim said here on Thursday that the attack on the clay factory of Ashapura Mine Chem Limited at Menankulam on Sunday was part of a conspiracy.
Speaking to mediapersons after visiting the factory at the KINFRA International Apparel Park, the Minister said the manner in which the factory was attacked and the furniture, computers, machinery and the office vandalised pointed to conspiracy by certain quarters.
He said the District Collector and Revenue officials had started investigation into the incident and the report was expected within a week.
“The police have registered a case in connection with the attack. The government will take suitable action after getting the report from the District Collector.”
The Minister said the company had invested Rs.100 crore in the clay factory and was carrying out trial run when the attack took place.
“Such kind of attitude towards those coming for investing in the State cannot be encouraged in any way. The government will take stern steps against the guilty,” Mr. Karim said.
Asserting that the government would provide protection to all industrial units working legally in the State, Mr. Karim said the management of the factory had also given complaints about some lapses.
On the complaints that there were lapses on the part of the police, he said “let the report of the Collector come.”
Stating that the government had received complaints from the local people about the pollution caused by the factory, Mr. Karim said the government would seriously look into the complaints and was ready to set up a committee, if needed again, to look into the issue.
The government had adequate machinery under it like Kerala State Pollution Board and Science and Technology Department to take care of issues relating to pollution.
The environment committee in its report had pointed out that the factory was using the latest technology available in this area for china clay processing.
The suggestion to the people residing near the factory to nominate two experts of their choice to the committee that was set up to look into the pollution issues was not carried out.
“The government cannot encourage such kind of encroachments,” he said.
Mr. Karim said the other units working in the KINFRA Park and over 6,000 employees attached to the different units had not made any complaints about the pollution from the clay factory.
A stop memo had been issued to the factory following the incident.
Earlier, the Minister accompanied by M.A. Vahid, MLA; Principal Secretary (Industries) T. Balakrishnan, District Collector Sanjay M. Kaul, KINFRA Managing Director S. Ramnath and KINFRA International Apparel Park Managing Director J. Krishnakumar visited the administrative block and the factory.
CEO of the company Gita Nerukar and General Manager Sathish briefed the Minister and the officials on the extent of damage caused by the attack.
Trade union workers, who assembled in large numbers outside the factory, raised slogans demanding action against those behind the attack and steps to start the functioning of the factory soon.
Various organisations also submitted memorandum to the Minister.