‘Reopen Sterlite’ Tuticorin Villagers Demand

‘Reopen Sterlite’ Tuticorin Villagers DemandThe Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi.

In a new twist to Sterlite controversy people from various villages of Tuticorin district have petitioned the district authorities to reopen the Sterlite plant, Tamil media outlet Dinathanthi has reported.

The government had announced the permanent closing of the plant after a prolonged agitation by various outfits which ultimately ended in mob violence leading to 13 deaths on 22 May. Since then people belonging to various villages in the district, including the local protesters, have been blaming a radical left organisations for inciting violence and misdirecting people.

However, now people from the villages of South Veerapandiyapuram, Kumarareddypuram and Kumaragiri in their petition to the district collector have complained that the closure of the plant has affected their fundamental livelihood. They praised the plant for providing them facilities to meet with their educational, medical and livelihood needs for the last twenty two years. Now they have been suddenly deprived of all these, the petition reads.

Meanwhile in a separate petition the lorry owners association of Tuticorin had stated that due to the intervention and instigation of outside forces the violent protests had led to the closure of the plant which in turn had severely affected their business and livelihood. They further contested the claim of pollution by the protesters and stated that the result of the protest has been that the livelihood and employments of hundreds of people in Tuticorin have been snatched away and destroyed. They too have demanded that the plant be reopened.