Truck owners demand reopening of Sterlite plant

Residents of South Veerapandipuram and truck owners thronged the Collectorate on Monday demanding reopening of Sterlite Copper plant as their livelihood had been affected after its closure.

In a petition submitted to Collector Sandeep Nanduri, the villagers echoed their earlier demands placed before Information and Publicity Minister Kadambur C. Raju. Contractors and contract workers had also met the Minister over a week ago and submitted a similar petition.

“After the closure of the plant, the people in our village have lost jobs directly and indirectly. As we do not have the means for carrying out agricultural operations, we cannot even afford food,” they said.

Veeramani, one of the lorry owners, said nearly 1,000 lorries, and about 10,000 families depending on them, had been affected by the closure of the unit.

‘Water not supplied’

Residents of K. Thangammalpuram panchayat in Vilathikulam taluk said water from Vallanadu Combined Water Scheme, which serves more than 10 panchayats, had not been supplied to them for the past one year.

“Earlier, the water used to be supplied once in 10 days. Then, the water was released once in a few months. But even that has stopped over the last year,” the villagers said. They sourced their water from a kanmoi (pond), but that had dried up following drought conditions over the last three years, they said.

Clinic sought

Members of Thoothukudi Chank Divers’ Association submitted a petition with the Collector seeking a government clinic at the chank godown to treat the workers, who might suffer from asphyxiation, headaches and other problems.

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