Jayalalithaa directs authorities to take action

Chennai: The prolonged fight for justice in Kodaikanal, which is contaminated with mercury by Hindustan Unilever, finally seems to be yielding results with the political class waking up and recognising the gravity of situation.

Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has stepped in after Dindigul MLA K. Balabharathi wrote to her requesting government’s intervention in the matter. The Chief Minister has reportedly asked the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) chairman and power minister R. Viswanathan to visit the contaminated site and initiate necessary action.

On Monday, TNPCB chairman K. Skandan convened a meeting in Kodaikanal, which was attended by Balabharathi and Venugopal along with other Kodaikanal municipality chairman M. Sridhar, AIADMK councillors in Kodaikanal municipality, Dindgul forest conservator D. Sampath, district collector T.N. Hariharan and members of local area monitoring committee.

The TNPCB chairman has assured that appropriate action would be taken in consultation with the experts committee and invited suggestions. Balabharathi said the clean-up standards should be on a par with international standards, which is the only way to address the issue.

Palani MLA Venugopal said that the state government is with the cause.  Later, all officials and AIADMK leaders visited the contaminated site and appraised themselves about the situation. Kodaikanal Ex-workers Association president Mahendra Babu told Deccan Chronicle that he has briefed about the history of their struggle and sufferings the ex-workers were going through all these years due to mercury contamination. “I am happy that the CM is intervening”.