Skip to main content

Andhra workers' death in West Godavari: Civil rights network had prewarned of high level of pollution a week earlier

By Our Representative
A civil rights network has revealed that it had pre-warned the Andhra Pradesh government authorities about extremely high levels of pollution coming out of the Ananda Aqua Food processing unit in Nallamavari Thota village of West Godavari district, where five persons died as a result of asphyxiation on March 30 as they were cleaning up a chemical tank.
Comprising of Ramakrishnam Raju and Meera Sanghamitra (National Convenors, National Alliance of People’s Movements or NAPM), Vimala Morthala (activist and writer), Babji (Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruttidarula Union), Rajesh and Rohit (Human Rights Forum) and Rahul (Freelance Journalist), the team had visited the village on the March 25, 2017 “in the wake of people’s complaints and similar factory owned by the same group.”
Revealing this, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) claims. “The fact-finding team learnt from the locals that the industry, which was built in 2012, used to release foul smell since its inception.”
NAPM says, “The villagers informed the fact finding team that one-sixth of the people left the village in the last one year because of the pungent stench and some of them even sold off their lands.”
It adds, “Youngsters, whom this team interacted with felt that they have no other option except to leave the village if the government didn’t intervene and do something to salvage the situation.”
In fact, NAPM says, “The villagers signed a petition against the factory a month ago which forced the sub-collector to visit the village and give a warning to the management of the factory to construct wastage tanks.”
“However”, it adds, “the villagers allege that the management was hand in glove with the political class, because of which neither they, nor the sub-collector, could do anything, and the company got away with cosmetic measures.”
Those who died in the accident are Eega Yedukondalu, Nalla Yedukondalu, Boddu Rambabu, Thota Srinu and Jakkamsetty Praveen, all daily wage workers and residents of Nallamavari Thota village.
Pointing out that the accident “is a direct consequence of non-compliance of prescribed regulations as per the mandate of the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 and other rules”, NAPM says, “The factory, in a bid to maximize the profits is not recycling the waste and instead dumping it into the Gontheru Canal, which is livelihood for 50,000 fis”her people and another 50,000 acres of farm land and fish tanks is likely to be polluted.”
Underling that, prima facie, that Andhra Pradesh government and the Ananda Group of industries are responsible for the environmental degradation and air-water pollution in the region, NAPM regrets indiscriminate expansion allowed to the Ananda group of industries, which owns and operates eight other industries in the region.
“Their proposal and persistence to go ahead with the Mega Aqua Food Park in Tundurru, which is said to be 20 times more harmful than the existing factories, despite massive public resistance is indicative of the clout that the company wields in this region”, it adds.
Insisting that the Andhra Pradesh government and the Ananda Group are “responsible prima facie for criminal negligence and environmental violations leading to the (avoidable) death of the five workers today”, NAPM demands “immediate institution of a judicial inquiry with a sitting judge of the High Court into this incidenteven as scrapping the the Mega Aqua Food Park in Tundurru, “which has the potential to cause enormous and irreversible damage.”

Comments

TRENDING

Ganga world's second most polluted river, Modi's Varanasi tops microplastics pollution

By Rajiv Shah  Will the new report by well-known elite NGO Toxics Link create a ripple in the powerful corridors of Delhi? Titled “Quantitative analysis of microplastics along River Ganga”, forwarded to Counterview, doesn’t just say that Ganga is the second most polluted river in the world, next only to Yangtze (China). It goes ahead to do a comparison of microplastics pollution in three cities shows Varanasi – the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – is more polluted compared to Kanpur and Haridwar.

Madhya Pradesh tops India's 145 instances of 'anti-Christian atrocities' this year

Counterview Desk  A report prepared by the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), founded in 1951 as the national alliance of evangelical Christians of the Protestant denomination, in its just-released report, “Hate and Targeted Violence against Christians in India: Half Yearly Report 2021”, has said that an analysis of 145 cases of violence it has documented against Christians, mainly by non-state actors, “stems from an environment of targeted hate.”

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Demolition drive: Why aren't high-end hotels, farmhouses treated same way as Khorigaon?

By Our Representative A public hearing, sponsored by the civil rights group National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) to hear the affected citizens of Khorigaon, off Faridabad, Delhi NCR, has seen local people complaining how their houses are being demolished even as the entire area was converted into a prison through heavy police deployment.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How BSF, police, court turned Bangladeshi woman slave victim into accused in crime

Counterview Desk  Civil rights leader Kirity Roy has strongly objected to the manner in which the Border Security Force (BSF) , the police and the judiciary in West Bengal have treated a 35 years old Bangladeshi woman victim of human trafficking, who was subjected to sexual exploitation for 15 long years, has been declared guilty of violating the Foreigners Act, violating all human rights norms.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Khorigaon demolition: People being 'brutally' evicted, cops 'restricting' food, water

By Ishita Chatterjee, Neelesh Kumar, Manju Menon, Vimal Bhai* On July 23, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation told the Supreme Court that they have cleared 74 acres out of 150 acres. Despite the affidavit of the Municipal Corporation, the court, on the complaint of various litigants, that the arrangements for living, food etc. have not been made for the people. 

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

Covid impact on menstrual cycles? Young girls 'relapsing' back to unhygienic old-cloth rags

By Dr Sudeshna Roy*  Covid-19 pandemic has gripped the world in health and economic shock. Combating this public health crisis has diverted development resources earmarked for adolescents and the youth. India; having world’s second largest population; 1.38 crores as per UN mid-year 2020 estimation, also shelters the largest adolescents and young adult population, which at 243 million constitute 20% of the world’s 1.2 billion adolescent population.