Pune, Feb. 2 Farmers who have been protesting the setting up of a research and development centre by Dow Chemicals International Pvt Ltd near Pune (Dow India) have demanded that the company give them a written assurance that the project will not affect livestock, land and human habitation in the region adversely.
The company is setting up the centre on 100 acres at Chakan. Work on the Rs 400-crore project began last September, but was suspended since the last fortnight due to stiff resistance from local farmers and villagers.
“We have been building dialogue with the local community for the last seven months, and we are going to be very patient,” Dr Ramesh Ramachandran, President and CEO, Dow India said, adding that somebody had misrepresented facts to the local people.
Company officials also maintained that as the land had been leased to them by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation some of the issues will have to be addressed by the government officials.
Dr Ramachandran said the centre would employ around 500 people, mostly local scientists.
“Catalysis, which will help convert molecule A to B, will be one big area for us at the Chakan centre, and surfactants will be a new area,” he said.
The company expects the centre to be up and running by January 2009.