March held against polluting plywood units

Hundreds of people affected by pollution from wood-based units in the district took out a march to the district collectorate on Tuesday. P.C.Cyriac, former civil servant and president of Anti-Corruption People’s Movement, inaugurated the march.

The march was organised by the Action Council for Environmental Protection as part of a renewed agitation that the people plan to undertake to get the polluting wood-based units, mostly manufacturing plywood, shifted from residential areas. Mr.Cyriac said an agreement reached between the district administration and the action council last year, was yet to be implemented. He demanded that the recommendations made by the Central Empowered Committee on wood-based units in the district be implemented. The Action Council patron and environmental activist, S.Sitaraman, alleged that the government was planning to amend the prevailing Act on wetlands to protect the erring plywood units, many of which had been set up in converted paddy fields, violating the clauses of the Act. The government was trying to legitimise illegally converted paddy land under the guise of helping the farmer, he said.

Council chairman Varghese Pulluvazhy said the Central Empowered Committee appointed by the Supreme Court had found out gross violation of norms by wood-based units in the district.

The council had waged a prolonged struggle last year and had reached an agreement with the authorities. The authorities were giving permission to new units in violation of all existing rules, he said.

Action Council for Environmental Protection organised the march as part of a renewed agitation.

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