Sterlite Protest Issue – How Plant Impacts health Of People ?

Sterlite Protest Issue – How Plant Impacts health Of People ? – Hello Friends welcome to . Here we are sharing Sterlite protest issue in full Details for UPSC mains Exam point of view As well As Well as For Prelims . As We Know Environment Play An Important Role in UPSC Exam.

What is Sterlite India?

  • Sterlite Industries (India)is a subsidiary of London based Vedanta resources.
  • Founded in 1975 by Anil Agarwal
  • Its primary operation in India is production of non-ferrous metals like Copper, Aluminium and Zinc.
  • Apart from this, Sterlite India also produces other chemical products such as Sulphuric acid, Phosphoric acid among other things.
  • It also owns multiple power production units across the country and trades in precious metals.

Sterlite Protest Issue - How Plant Impacts health Of People ?

About Sterlite Copper

  • Sterlite Copper is a business unit of Sterlite Industries India that deals with production of Copper.
  • It has two copper plants in India. One in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu.
  • The other is Silvassa, Daman&Diu.
  • The Sterlite Copper plant at Tuticorin is the plant in concern here.

Is there data to suggest Sterlite’s operations may be harming health in Thoothukudi?

  • In 2008, the Department of Community Medicine, Tirunelveli Medical College submitted a report titled “Health Status and Epidemiological Study Around 5 km Radius of Sterlite Industries (India) Limited, Thoothukudi.”
  • The study covered a population of 80,725 people and compared the health status in villages around Sterlite with the average health status prevailing in the state and two other locations that did not have any major industries.
  • The health report is a well-kept secret because of what it found.
  • At the time of the study (2006 and 2007), Sterlite had been operating at a far lower production capacity of between 70,000 and 170,000 tonnes of copper anode per annum (tpa).
  • It was only in 2005 that it was permitted to manufacture at an expanded capacity of 300,000 tpa.
  • Since 2007, Sterlite has been operating a 400,000 tpa smelter, nearly six times larger than what it began with in 1996.”

Among the 80,725 individuals studied within a radius of 5 Kms from the plant.

  1. Iron content of ground water in surrounding villages is high.
  2. Hardness of water around is very high than the surrounding region.
  3. Arsenic, however, was not found in the samples collected.
  4. Respiratory illnesses like asthma are more prevalent in the region due to increased air pollution.
  5. Females in the region suffer from more menstrual disorders.
  6. Alcohol consumption and smoking is common among Sterlite employees due to the high stress environment they work in.
  7. General body pain is widely reported.
  8. ENT problems are more prevalent in the region.

2010 – Dr. Mark Chernaik of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide conducts a study on Sterlite and concludes the following

  • Sterlite endangers human health and the environment.
  • It contaminates soil, water and air.
  • High levels of iron, arsenic, cadmium and nickel, all of which are toxic, are found in the soil samples collected in the region.
  • Water samples collected vicinity shows high level of sulfate and calcium.
  • It is an indication that Sterlite has contaminated water supplies.
  • The water is unfit for direct consumption or agriculture.

In the same year, Community Environmental Monitoring, an NGO, conducts study of water and soil samples in the vicinity and found the following

  • The salinity of water in the open well (7854 mg/L) were over four times higher than levels that can cause crop damage.
  • Another water sample showed very high levels of Sulphate and Calcium.
  • A soil sample showed high levels of iron that can cause severe poisoning in a child.
  • Arsenic levels in the same location were quite high.
  • Cadmium that can cause lung cancer and other kidney issues was ten times the average.
  • Kalangarai odai (a stream that runs through Sterlite) showed very high concentration of iron – 477 times above those that can cause serious health issues.

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