Workers, villagers demand safe disposal of mercury
Over 700 persons take out a protest rally in Kodaikanal
:More than 700 persons including Thermometer factory workers and residents of Vellakavi village, took out a massive protest rally in Kodaikanal town here on Tuesday demanding safe disposal of mercury wastes in the factory site near Moonjikkal and suitable compensation to all factory workers.
They alleged that several workers did not receive suitable compensation from the factory management. Many workers were not included in the list of beneficiaries. Compensation was denied to them.
Many workers, who were affected by unknown diseases, have been struggling for survival. No compensation had been given to meet their medical expenses, the workers deplored.
Earlier, the rally started at KRR Auditorium and ended at Kodaikanal RDO office where the protesters staged a demonstration.
The demonstrators also appealed to the authorities to clean Kodaikanal lake, one of the prime tourists’ attraction and make it a pure water lake.
At present, the mercury had contaminated the lake water beyond permissible level, they said.
Existing facilities in Kodaikanal Government Hospital were insufficient to treat workers who were affected by mercury contamination.
So, the government should enhance facilities at the Kodaikanal GH to provide better health care to the affected workers and others in the hill station.
Residents of Vellakavi too joined the stir stating that mercury residue contaminated the water and the lands in their village, which was situated below Kodaikanal town.
Effective measures should be taken to remove the mercury wastes from the factory as per international standards and dispose it of safely. Residue of mercury mixed with rainwater spread to the villages in the downstream areas, they pointed out.
Existing facilities in Kodaikanal GH were insufficient to treat workers affected by mercury contamination