Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Journal of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) that works for Asbestos Free India inspired by trade union leader Purnendu Majumadar. Occupational Health India and ToxicsWatch Alliance are its members that includes doctors, researchers and activists. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims. It works with trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. For Details: 1715krishna@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why not Ban Asbestos in Bihar

Press Release

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar must come to Chainpur-Bishunpur for dialogue

Movement to continue till written orders for closure of asbestos plant is issued

Anti-people SEZ, rejected in Bihar, Why not Ban Asbestos in Bihar as well

Marwan, Muzaffarpur, 8th February, 2011: Bihar Chief Minister has been ignoring the peoples’ movement underway for the last six months in Muzaffarpur’s Chainpur-Bishunpur and is attempting to divert the Movement Against Asbestos which is getting national support. Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jansangarsh Committee expresses its disapproval for Chief Minister’s irresponsible statement saying that the state government has not given approval to it. This statement is misleading.

The Committee demands that the State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB), the State Pollution Control Board and the Union Environment Ministry should rescind its approval and environmental clearance given to the Balmukund Cement & Roofing Ltd. The Chief Minister has sent back SIPB’s proposal for asbestos factories, he has not cancelled the clearance of the killer plant as yet.

The Committee declares that until and unless the Chief Minister visits Chainpur-Bishunpur and issues a written order stopping the construction of the proposed white asbestos based factory, the agitation against Balmukund’s factory will continue. Nitish Kumar’s philosophical appeal to the national and international intellectuals to debate ban on asbestos in India is insincere because he has not announced reforms in his industrial policy that currently promotes killer factories.

Although Bihar Government’s text books of Biology and Chemistry taught in 10th and 12th class reveal that asbestos is cancer causing, the Chief Minister must reply as to why hazardous asbestos based plants should be established in Bihar for the profit of the capitalists.

It is noteworthy that Bihar Government banned anti-people and anti-agriculture Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the state although it is being implemented in the whole country. If anti-farmer SEZ can be banned in the state, why should Nitish Kumar not ban asbestos which is prohibited in over 55 countries? In such a backdrop, the statement of Bihar State Council of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) is misplaced and unacceptable. While all the asbestos factories in the country must be phased out, the future use of asbestos must be eliminated to begin with, contrary to what CII irrationally contends. It has come to notice that some official of Bihar Industries Association has anonymously been spreading rumours in support of myopic and brutal industrialization.

The Committee suggests that instead of coming under the influence of the propaganda of Chrysotile Asbestos Cement Manufacturers Association, it would be better for the Chief Minister to initiate a dialogue with villagers, doctors and environmentalists by giving priority to the public health on the basis of scientific facts.

It has been reported in the media that the Chief Minister respects the sentiments of the people. If he is indeed sensitive to people’s concerns then he should take action against those company officials and police persons who are responsible for firing and lathi charge on the peaceful dharna on 13th December, 2010, 9th January, 2011 and 22nd January 2011.

Even a government elected with majority of votes cannot make women victims of police repression, bullets and tear gas. Such action of a democratic-socialist government cannot be permitted. The Committee demands that Nitish Kumar should come to Chainpur-Bishunpur to establish a direct conversation with the injured women. You should come from Patna to Chainpur for a dialogue. In the aftermath of police repression and unilateral action against Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jansangharsh Committee conveners (Tarkeshwar Giri and Kumud Ram), personal intervention from Nitish Kumar is a necessary alternative.

Signatories: 1. Ram Chandra Rai, Convener, Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jansangharsh Committee
2. Ram Naresh Prasad Singh, former Mukhiya, Karja Dih Panchayat, Marwan Block
3. Najma Khatun, Mukhiya, Jian Khurd Panchayat, Marwan Block
4. Najmul Haq, Sah Adhyaksha, Mukhiya Sangh, Marwan & Mukhiya, Mahmadpur Sube, Marwan Block
5. Nira Devi, Member, Zila Parishad, Marwan Block
6. Umesh Mahto, Mukhiya, Rupwara Panchayat, Marwan Block
7. Sikandar Singh, former Headmaster, Bishunpur-Chainpur Middle School & Co-patron Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jansangharsh Committee
For Details: Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jansangharsh Committee, Vishunpur Chowk, Marwan, Muzaffarpur, Phone: 099121273, 06223-237590, E-mail: khetbachaomarwan@gmail.com
Gopal Krishna, Convener, Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI)/Asbestos Mukti Andolan
Mb: 09818089660, 07739308480, E-mail:krishna2777@gmail.com
Blog:banasbestosindia.blogspot.com

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