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

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.