Villagers stage stir and demand for closure of Porus Laboratories Private Limited at Akkireddygudem of Musunuru mandal in Eluru district on Monday. (Photo: By Arrangement)
Vijayawada: Tension prevailed at Porus Laboratory after a section of villagers barged into the factory demanding permanent closure of the plant at Akkireddygudem village in Eluru district on Monday.
A team of officials led by Eluru joint collector P. Arun Babu had visited the village and held a grama sabha seeking their opinion whether to allow or disallow the factory to continue its operation in the village following a fire mishap that killed six persons and injured 12 recently.
Villagers from Akkireddygudem, Surepalli, Gogulampadu and from other villages arrived at the factory upon learning about the visit of the officials. They staged a dharna in front of the factory raising slogans that the factory should be shut down permanently. They also alleged that people of the area were falling sick, suffered crop loss and livestock perished due to environmental pollution caused by the factory.
Trouble started when some villagers working in the factory demanded the unit to run provided they follow all safety regulations as it provided them jobs and livelihood. However, a majority of villagers demanded its closure.
A section of villagers allegedly beat up the watchman at the gate and entered into the factory, which triggered tension. However, police stepped in and restored normalcy. The police booked a case for assaulting the watchman.
Earlier, Eluru Collector V. Prasanna Venkatesh constituted an inquiry committee comprising general manager, district industries centre; environmental engineer, APPCB; deputy commissioner of labour, deputy chief inspector of factories; inspector of factories; executive engineer, APEPDCL; deputy director, groundwater; deputy executive engineer, rural water supply; RDO, Nuziveedu; DSP, Nuziveedu and tahsildar, Musunuru.
The team of officials inspected the factory premises and took stock of the developments.