‘Unit started work without obtaining proper clearance’
Protestors who have been campaigning against the functioning of a shipbreaking unit under the control of Steel Industries Kerala Ltd. (SILK) at Beypore got a temporary relief on Friday when the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB) through an order stopped all dismantling work.
The PCB issued the order after an inspection conducted by the board found that the unit started the dismantling work without obtaining proper clearance.
It also found that no sufficient measures were taken to control the pollution threats and to process hazardous objects.
In the order, the PCB directed SILK to submit a report in 15 days after clearing the already pointed out security hazards and pollution threats at the unit.
Directions were also issued to stop all dismantling activities till it got permission from the Pollution Control Board.
Following the order, an official-level discussion planned by the district administration with the anti-ship breaking campaigners at Beypore on Saturday was cancelled.
District-level officials did not turn up for the meeting though the campaigners were present. Rajesh Warier, convener of the anti-shipbreaking action council, said they were denied opportunity to meet the District Collector and other senior officers, though they tried to hold a discussion on the issue.
“We came here as per the intimation from the Collectorate, but no one informed us about the cancellation of the meeting,” he said.
Mr. Warier said the action committee would go ahead with its protest till the closure of the unit.
“The order of the PCB may not last long as efforts are on to clear the procedures. Our plan is to convene a meeting of all activists next week and continue with the indefinite agitation,” he added.
Source: the hindu. 23 November 2014