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

Nirma varsity demand for higher fees 'illegal', violates Article 14: Letter to Gujarat HC

Counterview Desk
Students of Gujarat’s top private institute, Nirma University, situated in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a letter to the Chief Justice the state High Court, have complained that the authorities are demanding “full fees” from students, without taking into account the “disproportionate impact” the lockdown has on the livelihood of students and families.

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

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".

Vulnerable to Covid-19, sharp rise in murder of Indian journalists during pandemic

By Nava Thakuria*
Vulnerability of working journalists in India is no way an alien issue as the populous country loses a number of working journalists to assailants as also medical emergencies. Even though there was only one casualty in the Indian media fraternity during the first half of 2020, who was targeted for journalistic work, India has begun witnessing an alarming number of media casualties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Govt 'assures' Gujarat HC no action against MBBS students defying corona sahayak order

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has assured the High Court that no action would be taken against Part-I and Part-II MBBS students of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-controlled NHL Medical College and LG Hospital and Medical College. The assurance follows the direction by Justice SH Vora to the State government not to prosecute or initiate action against the students who were defying the college authorities’ order to work as corona sahayaks (helpers).

Ex-official: Murmu, appointed as CAG, will 'surely' perform shradh of the institution

Counterview Desk
A former senior official of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Shantanu Basu, in a Facebook comment in the wake of the appointment of GC Murmu, a Gujarat IAS cadre official of the 1985, has raised doubts about the independence of CAG following the Government of India move.

Renounced US citizenship to serve workers, tribals, Sudha Bharadwaj 'odiously' in jail

By Atul, Sandeep Pandey*
Professor Sudha Bharadwaj has been in jail since August 2018. She was taken into police custody on August 26, 2018 on suspicion of being involved in Maoist terror activities after Republic TV claimed that she had allegedly written a letter to Maoists and was conspiring to create public disorder and unrest in India.

Plant organic, eat fresh: Emlen Bage's journey from migrant labour to agri-entrepreneur

By Chandrashekar and Kriti*
Who is a farmer? Type this question in the google search and check out the images? You can see men thronging the screen. This is the popular perception around the globe. Well one can understand how difficult it would be for a woman to defy this perception.

High youth unemployment: India 'fails' to take advantage of demographic dividend

By Varun Kumar
As coronavirus pandemic continues amplifying challenges among youth with regard to employment opportunities, government policies have further resulted in economic slowdown, leading to mass unemployment and loss jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation report “Covid-19 and the World of Work” (May 27, 2020), around 94 percent of the world’s workers are living in countries with some sort of workplace closure measures in place.

Dichotomy? US Hindutva groups oppose racism, mum on Modi's 'anti-minority' stance

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HHR), a US-based advocacy group, has noticed a major dichotomy between the stance taken by RSS’ US arm, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), expressing “shock” at the “painful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others”, all of which suggest “the tragic tale of racial injustice” in US, and HSS’ “hatred” for India’s religious minorities and Dalits.