The ‘fast-unto-death’ agitation undertaken by Varghese Pulluvazhy, chairman of Action Council for Environmental Protection, entered 17{+t}{+h}day on Friday. Mr.Varghese was removed from the venue at Kakkanad to General hospital by the police on February 12. The fast is in protest against the apathy of authorities at the ongoing struggle demanding action against polluting plywood units in and around Perumbavoor.

Mr.Varghese has been suffering from urinary infection, said C.K.Prasannan, convenor of the Council. The patient should have been shifted to advanced medicare centres, but the police as well as Health department officials were playing hide and seek, he said. Mr. Prasannan also alleged that there was a conspiracy to eliminate Mr.Varghese who had played a key role in organising the struggle. BJP State president V.Muralidharan, district unit president P.J.Thomas and other leaders visited Mr.Varghese at the hospital.

The council, representing a large number of people in the areas affected by the pollution from plywood units, wants the manufacturing units to be shifted from residential locations. They had approached local bodies and district authorities to cancel the licences of those units which had flouted environmental norms. The people had also petitioned Pollution Control Board to regulate errant units.

While the district authorities as well as the Pollution Control Board had convened meetings, no solution could be worked out. People have been complaining about the pollution of air and water bodies. Majority of the 800 plus units functioning there don’t have licences, according to them.