Locals want Coromandel to give more jobs

Ch. R. S Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 08, 2016

The Coromandel International Limited, increasing the capacity of its fertiliser plant at Sriharipuram here, has been urged to give more jobs to local people and take stringent pollution control measures so that people in the nearby residential colonies can breathe easy.

The demand was voiced at the public hearing conducted on the plant premises on Thursday by the local people and their representatives. The capacity of the fertiliser unit here is being expanded from 700 tonnes per day to a thousand tonnes per day at a cost of Rs 225 crores, generating additional employment of 275.

A. Ramachandra Rao, the senior vice-president, explained that the phosphoric acid production at the plant would go up from 700 TPD to 1,000 TPD and all pollution control measures would be taken and there was no cause for concern. He said Rs 26 crores would be spent on environment management as a part of the expansion project. He said Rs 3.1 crores had been spent on various corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities by the company during the past five years.

Ganababu, the local MLA, while welcoming the expansion project, said the company should make all efforts to upgrade the skills of local job aspirants and provide them employment and the environmental concerns should also be addressed in right earnest.

J. Satyanarayana Murthy alias Nani, of the CPI, was severely critical of the company on which a fine of Rs 25 lakhs or so had been imposed earlier by the AP Pollution Control Board for not adhering to the norms. He said "the assurances given by such company on environmental issues cannot be trusted and the people in the vicinity are suffering a lot due to pollution." He wanted the Government to stop the expansion project.

K. Ramakrishna Raju, a senior citizen living in the vicinity of the plant for six decades, complained that the locals were bearing the brunt of the pollution for years and pleas to the authorities had gone unheeded. He urged the district collector, Praveen Kumar, to act immediately on the pollution issue and stop the expansion project.

L. Srinivas, a local, complained that CSR funds were not being spent in the vicinity of the plant and Dhanalata, a woman in a nearby colony, said the plant was only causing them hardship and the promised jobs remained only on paper.

Published on December 08, 2016
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