Following protests from forest rights activists and environmentalists, the Naveen Patnaik government has changed a controversial circular issued in November last year that sought to undermine a lan

Hundreds of people affected by pollution from wood-based units in the district took out a march to the district Collectorate on Tuesday.

The venue of the ongoing struggle against polluting plywood manufacturing units in Perumbavoor will be shifted from Kuruppampady to Kakkanad next week.

Three plywood manufacturing units in Perumbavoor which approached the Supreme Court seeking permission to regularise their operations have been asked to wait for the order in a case pending before

Kerala government has been given one month time to submit a reply to the Supreme Court in a case pertaining to pollution caused by plywood manufacturing units in Vengola panchayat in Ernakulam dist

The supreme court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) started inspecting the wood-based industries including plywood factories and neighbouring localities in Kuttipadam division in Vengola panchayat on Wednesday. The different stakeholders in the industry are considering the visit of the high power committee as a very “significant step”.

The committee is headed by P V Jayakrishnan, the chairman of the CEC and other members include Mahendhra Vyas and M K Muthoo. The committee is assisted by important government officials in the district including RDO, Moovatupuzha, District Medical Officer, Malayatoor DFO, Deputy Director, Panchayat and chief environmental engineer, regional office, Pollution Control Board, Ernakulam.

Decrying indiscriminate use of natural resources and deforestation in the name of growth, Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan today said that industries and corporates should focus on protecting the environment and ensure balanced and sustained development.

"...There are some industries, which feel that we should indiscriminately use natural resources, cut down our forests and use them for growth," she told reporters here on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of the Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute, an autonomous body under the union ministry of environment.

People affected by pollution from small-scale plywood industries in Perumbavoor have declared a war of sorts.

After petitions and rallies failed to evoke the desired result the residents formed a samithi and started a satyagraha in the true Gandhian way, about two months ago. At present, one of their representatives is on a ‘fast unto death’ in front of the collectorate. The core issue is that the industrial units are scattered around residential areas. They spew fumes into the air that settle down in the wells nearby. The fumes also cause suffocation. Water bodies are polluted when untreated effluents from many units are discharged into them.

The Indian plywood industry has estimated annual revenues of Rs 25,000-30,000 cr, and is dominated by unorganised players

The Pollution Control Board is making arrangements to install gadgets to assess environmental pollution in Vengola panchayat in Ernakulam district.

The initiative is being taken in accordance with a Supreme Court directive to assess the pollution levels in the area. T. K. Kurien, a resident of the area, had approached the apex court, seeking relocation of plywood manufacturing units from the residential area. Mr. Kurien said he had filed a writ petition in the Kerala High Court earlier on the issue and an advocates’ commission submitted a report which reportedly sought measures including relocation of the units in order to curb pollution.

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