Let us have a look at what is going on in Tamil Nadu.
There are protests going on in Thoothukudi against a company named Sterlite Copper which is owned by Vedanta.
Vedanata is one of the biggest companies in the world owned by Anil Agarwal. This person stays and operates from London. Vedanta has its plants in many parts of the world
As the name suggests, Sterlite Copper makes Copper
Let us first have a look at what type of company Vedanta is
1. Vedanta is known for Human Rights Violation and unethical practices all over the world, Their unethical deeds are well known in Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha and many of these states refused to give permission to Vedanta to start any new factories there.
2. Their Bauxite plant had to be shut down in Odisha, The Niyamgiri tribes in Odisha protested strongly against that factory.
3. The Church of England was found investing money in Vedanta in an unethical manner.
4. The Government of Norway openly said that ‘Vedanta is an unethical company and their only aim is to earn more money’
5. Just like the Panama papers leak, There was a Paradise papers leak and in that it was disclosed that ‘48% of Vedanta’s subsidiary Companies were registered in Tax havens in 2011’, Most of their money is routed through tax havens to avoid taxes in India.
6. In 1998, The Indian Stock Market had BANNED Vedanta for a major stock fraud.
7. A newspaper named ‘The Independent’ named Vedanta to be the world’s ‘Most hated Company’ in 2010.
Vedanta does not care about Human Rights, The environment or being ethical.
8. Anil Agarwal lives in his 200 crore house in Mayfair, London (Where most of the richest people of UK live). Last week Tamilians were protesting against his house against his company Sterlite Copper in Tamil Nadu.
Now let us have a look at what happened in Thoothukudi.
1. 25,000 people were protesting against Sterlite Copper.
The police open fired on civilians and 10 people died in the firing.
2. The people were beaten with sticks, Shelled with tear Gas and shot with guns by the police.
3. Now let us have a look at why are people protesting. Sterlite Copper can make 4 lakh tonnes of Copper Per year, i.e. 1500 tonnes daily, But, This company regularly breaks laws and exceeds pollution limits
4. Sulphur Dioxide and Iron Oxide has been found in air in Thoothukudi, Many people in that city are suffering from Lung Diseases because of this, Around 5 lakh people live in their city within 10km radius of that factory
Some other common diseases that civilians there are facing are
1. Skin Cancer
2. Heart conditions
3. Throat irritation
5. Children are being born disformed
6. Women’s periods are being affected
Some more stuff that Essar’s Sterlite Copper does
1. Sterlite Copper releases a lot of PM2.5 and PM10 pollutants.
2. People have been protesting against this company from many years, But the protests have intensified recently because recently the company said that they will double/triple their copper producing capacity and will make their plant even more larger,
3. Sterlite Copper got environment clearance only because it bribed the local politicians. They have broken almost all rules but still have.
4. The 160km Gulf of Mannar near Tamil Nadu is being destroyed by the effluents released by Sterlite Copper. According to the Water Act of 1974, Any hazardous industry cannot be located within 25km of eco sensitive area, But Sterlite Copper has bribed its way up and opened its plant within 14km of Gulf of Mannar
5. There must be a 25m green belt of trees around any such plant, Which is again not present around Sterlite Copper but still the Tamil Nadu pollution Control Board has given them a license.
6. There were peaceful protests in February 2018 where 500 people were on a Hunger Strike and students had blocked the gates of the Factory, The police arrested and grilled them all because of the political influence of Vedanta
7. In July 1997, 165 women fainted because of a toxic gas leak from Sterlite Copper.
In March 2013, There was another gas leak
8. Once the Supreme Court imposed a Rs 100 crore fine on Sterlite Copper and ordered it to stop operating for 1 month.
10. Later Vedanta Group bribed the ‘National Green Tribunal’ and the NGT gave them a nod to repoen and they started their factory again.
Vedanta Group and Essar are well known ‘donors’ of BJP/Congress/AIADMK and this is why they have been operating smoothly from the last many decades despite breaking every single law.
And now the police open fired on Civilians for that company
Post by Kshitij Vengurelkar
Image sourced from Google