Stop harassing Prof. Sujatha HRF demands
THE HINDU dated 12 May 2020, Tuesday
LG polymers did not have environmental clearance, alleges HRF
VISAKHAPATNAM, MAY 11, 2020 23:40 IST
UPDATED: MAY 11, 2020 23:40 IST
‘The company admitted that in a signed affidavit’
The LG Polymers India, the chemical plant belonging to South Korea-based LG Chem, did not have the mandatory environment clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) from 1997 to 2019, said member of the Human Rights Forum (HRF), here on Monday.
The plant, located in RR Venkatapuram in Visakhapatnam, was recently in the news for the wrong reasons, as 12 persons had died and over 300 were hospitalised due to leak of toxic styrene vapour from a styrene monomer tank.
Citing documents from the official website of the MoEF, V.S. Krishna, coordination committee member of A.P. and TS of HRF, said that the company in a signed affidavit submitted to the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) on May 10, 2019, had admitted that the unit did not have ‘environment clearance substantiating the produced quantity issued by the competent authority for continuing operations.’ In effect, this means that the company had admitted that it was running operations that were patently illegal, the HRF functionary said adding that LG Polymers had, in a notarised affidavit, stated that they would not “repeat any such violation in future.”
According to Mr. Krishna, the company had also accepted that it had expanded the production of the plant and changed the product mix without obtaining the required environment clearance as authorised under the EIA notification of 2006.
The HRF also pointed out that the company’s expansion plan was reportedly listed under Category A, which mandates that an environment clearance was needed from the MoEF.
“But in a brazen act of violation, the company filed the application to AP SEIAA. But SEIAA in June 2019, transferred the proposal to the Centre. It is learned that the company’s proposal was delisted, as it did not intend to expand,” he said.
These acts have grave implications for people’s health and livelihood. The social and environmental impacts of the factory’s operations have never been evaluated, Mr. Krishna said.
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HRF supports RTC workers’ strike
The Human Rights Forum is extending its wholehearted support to the striking workers of the TSRTC who are demanding the incorporation of the RTC with the government besides other demands.
Education, health and public transport are the sovereign functions of the State. People cannot remain inert. They have to move from one place to the other on their daily chores.It is their right to movement, a human right, part and parcel of the right to life and thus a Constitutional right.
Efficacy of public transport organisation should not and cannot be measured on the basis of profit it earns. However, as far as the TSRTC is concerned it is the policies of the Government that are the direct cause for losses. The government does not clear the arrears periodically. There are large sums of arrears to be cleared by the government, which fact the government does not deny and these arrears run into thousands of crores of rupees. The government does not permit the RTC to increase the fares on par with the fuel price escalation. The government is lethargic or a mere spectator or sometimes facilitator to the private operators to run the contract carriages as stage carriages. The immovable properties of the RTC are being used by the powers that be as a source of eternal income, which income as of right should go to RTC. Even fuel bunks allotted to and located in the open spaces of the RTC are cornered by the influential political leaders who have close links with the people in ppwer. Such acts adversely affect the profit making capacity of the RTC and therefore, the government should take over the TSRTC and run it as one of its departments.
The government’s propaganda machinery is throwing the blame on the workers who work day in and day out for the losses. The principal aim of this propaganda is to pave the way for privatising the public transport system in Telangana.
The management is not paying the wages to the workers for the period they worked in October. This is atrocious.
As long as the Govt does not find a solution to the strike it continues to infringe the people’s right to movement.
The Telangana state government’s heaf should keep aside his ego and immediately call the representatives of the unions to find a solution to end the strike and thus revive the People’s right to movement.
Gorrepati Madhava Rao
Human Rights Forum(HRF)
Kashmir — What we are NOT told on the news
What do we usually do when we’re losing an argument and want to save face? We deflect attention onto something else!
What do governments do when they’re losing trust among people? You guessed it… they deflect attention. They deflect attention to fabricated threats from the things that really matter to us.
Despite our country as a whole having incredible amounts of wealth and resources, our government is doing nothing to ensure that all of our citizens feel included and cared for. The government is failing us by not ensuring what’s needed for us all to live decently: secure jobs, affordable health care and quality education.
To save face and to deflect attention from such an embarrassing reality, the government has gone to the demeaning level of fabricating fake “threats to the nation”: Kashmir, Pakistan, Muslim migration into our North-Eastern states, Terrorism.
None of these self-serving “threats” even comes close to the threat that our own government poses to the well-being of our citizens. For example, compared to the trumped up threat of “terrorism”, literally thousands of times more people are killed by non-provision of basic health care, non-enforcement of pollution laws, and non-provision of remunerative prices for hard-working farmers, leading to their suicides.
To protect our own ordinary people’s interests, we need to resist being cheated by such distractions and stop coming to conclusions about “national threats” and “national interests” based on self-serving government propaganda.
Let us get together in Hyderabad on 13 October to know the truth behind what the government is doing in Kashmir in the name of terrorism and the North-East in the name of the National Registry of Citizens.