Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Journal of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI). Asbestos Free India campaign of BANI is inspired by trade union movement and right to health campaign. BANI has been working since 2000. It works with peoples movements, doctors, researchers and activists besides trade unions, human rights, environmental, consumer and public health groups. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Group protests asbestos industry

Note: Apropos news report "Group protests asbestos industry", on behalf of Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI), I wish to submit that the ongoing Ban Asbestos Struggle in Sarnia, Ontario and Bhojpur, Bihar in India are related. BANI has learnt that every year 500 people are dying of asbestos related diseases in Ontario. It has been estimated that the current rate of deaths in India is 100 times the rate of deaths in Ontario.

BANI expresses its solidarity with Sarnia's Hometown Activist Movement Emerging (SHAME) and its stand against the Conservative government continued support for asbestos exports to India. BANI strongly disapproves of the dubious stand of the Liberal Party and Conservative Party which support a killer asbestos industry which is involved in gross human rights violations of the present and future generations.

I wish to draw your attention towards three proposed asbestos plants in Bhojpur, Bihar, India. In Bhojpur's Bihiya, there is a proposal to set up a 120,000 MT/Annum capacity of Asbestos Cement Sheet Plant and 2 00000 MT/Annum capacity of Asbestos Grinding Plant. The total project area is 20 acres and land is allotted by the state government on lease for 90 years. On 10th May, 2010, the project was discussed by the Experts Appraisal Committee (EAC), Industry. In the minutes of the EAC, there explicit reference to "Health Management Plan for Mesothalimoa, Lung cancer and Asbestosis related problems in asbestos industries". The plant being established by Tamil Nadu based Ramco Industries Ltd. Bihar'S State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB) cleared its establishment on 23rd November, 2009 with a total investment of Rs 60.20 crore (in Indian currency Rs 10 lakh=1 million, Rs 100 lakh=Rs 1 crore).

In Bhojpur's Giddha village, Tamil Nadu based Nibhi Industries Pvt. Ltd is establishing the 100000 MT Capacity Asbestos Fiber Cement Corrugated Sheet, Flat Sheet and Accessories and Light Weight Fly Ash Block Plant. This has been approved in SIPB meeting on 19th October, 2009 with a total investment for of Rs 31 crore.
The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) reports reveals that they will procure asbestos from Canada. This is happening because of an incestous relationship between ruling parties in Bihar, India, Quebec, Canada and the asbestos producers.

Gopal Krishna
Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI)
Asbestos Mukti Andolan (Asbestos Free Movement), Bhojpur, Bihar
Mb: 09818089660, 07739308480

Group protests asbestos industry

Members of S.H.A.M.E. (Sarnia's Hometown Activist Movement Emerging) held a demonstration Saturday at the former Holmes Foundry site in Sarnia.

"Asbestos has had a huge impact on workers and families here," said organizer Zak Nicholls, joined by several participants who held signs slamming both the Liberal and Conservative governments.

"Both parties support the asbestos industry," he said, pointing to a lavish Liberal fundraiser hosted recently by a businessman leading the charge to reopen one of Canada's last-remaining asbestos mines.

Meanwhile, the Conservative government continues to support exports to India, Indonesia and other Third World countries.

Locally, all five federal election candidates have denounced asbestos exports, but Nicholls said he finds it frustrating to see campaign signs for both Liberal Tim Fugard and Conservative Pat Davidson posted near the site, at the corner of Exmouth and Christina Streets.

"We know locally where the candidates stand, and I believe them," he said. "But this is about what their parties are doing."

Although exact numbers aren't available, more than 1,000 Sarnia-area workers and family members were diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer and respiratory disease at a local workers clinic in just one decade — many cases linked to the former Holmes Foundry plant.

Sarnia-Lambton has the highest asbestos-related death rate in Ontario.

By TARA JEFFREY, Sarnia Observer, April 24, 2011

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