Thoothukudi: Protesting and supporting groups of Sterlite copper industries in Thoothukudi have once again started their game of petitioning against and for the industry.
As the case against Sterlite in the High Court has reached the final stage, anti-Sterlite activists plunged into rekindling the agitation against the industry. Led by activist-advocate Hari Ragavan of Makkal Adhikaram, around 50 men and women petitioned the Thoothukudi district collector, asking him to stop the industry from disbursing any welfare measures to villagers.
The activists also wanted the Thoothukudi city corporation to return the Rs 34 crore paid by Sterlite for water connections to around 230 households.
Agitating against Sterlite distributing welfare measures in the villages, the protestors staged a stir at Pandarampatti village two days ago.
Countering the protestors, villagers of Saminaththam thronged the district collectorate the same day, asking the district collector to ensure the continuation of welfare measures by Sterlite. Speaking to media persons at the district collector's office, the villagers said that Sterlite has been implementing its outreach programme for years together and they want it to be continued.
Members of the Tuticorin Stevedores' association, Thoothukudi City Lorry booking agents' association and Thoothukudi Lorry Owners' association also submitted petitions separately to the collector, seeking state government's support to resume operation of the copper industry that contributed 3.3 percent to the state GDP.
“Sterlite contributed to around 17 per cent of the total business volume of Thoothukudi V O C Port in 2017,” said the Stevedores' association president T Velshankar....