Southern India: A study of the problems likely to be faced by the people of peripheral villages would be made, before sanctioning the expansion of Zuari Cement, a government spokesman said. Presiding over a local meeting to gather public opinion on protection of environment in the wake of the cement plant expansion, he said social development is possible only through industrialisation.
The Zuari Cement management was asked to explain four main points: (1) How many jobs the company will provide to local jobless persons after expansion?
(2) Will you ensure payment of daily wages regularly? (3) What about the dust from the factory settling down on groundnut crop, affecting its growth, as alleged by the farmers? (4) What kind of development works will you take up and what steps are you taking to prevent pollution?
Responding, Zuari Cement vice-president Lalji Srivatsav said that the company had embarked upon the Rs 400-crore expansion plan with a view to making Kadapa district a centre for major industries. Once the expansion is completed, the people of nearby villages and many others belonging to the district will get employment and trade deals, he added. Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board officer Badrinath said the company which was now producing 1.89Mt of cement, plans to increase its production to 4.5Mt
Former MLA of Kamalapuram P Siva Reddy, ZPTC member Madhuri, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) leader Subbi Reddy, trade unionist VP Bayanna, sarpanches Siva Reddy, Radha Rajasekhar, Tulasi Reddy and others took exception to the anti-worker policies of the Zuari Cement management.