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.

Sunday, August 5, 2012



Asian Journal, August 3, 2012
Chadha remortgages his assets to get government loan to reopen asbestos mine

LAST October in an article entitled “Yes, Mr. Baljit Chadha, You Are Exporting Death to India – And Shame on You!” I wrote:

IT boggles my mind that Baljit Chadha, the man behind the DEADLY asbestos exports from Quebec to India, can be so SHAMELESS when it comes to making money that he actually claims that the cancer-causing material that is BANNED in Canada is safe!
... Chadha told the Globe and Mail newspaper in September: “I have done a lot of soul-searching on this and have come to a conclusion that we are not exporting death.”

REALLY, Mr. Chadha?

Do you REALLY believe that in spite of all the evidence out there ... ?

The Globe and Mail said Chadha “combines an almost evangelical fervour for asbestos with the clout needed to pull off his controversial plan.”

Mr. Chadha, I guess money can perform miracles!

Chadha, in fact, was rebuked by Ivan Ivanov, the team leader of occupational health at the WHO [World Health Organization] Department of Public Health and Environment, this week for DISTORTING its position on the safety of asbestos.

He told the Globe and Mail: “There is no safe threshold of exposure to all forms of asbestos.”

He said WHO wants a stop to the use of all types of asbestos as the most efficient way to get rid of all asbestos-related diseases.

... And Kathleen Ruff, the senior human-rights adviser with the Ottawa-based Rideau Institute, told the newspaper: “Not a single reputable scientific or medical association supports the assertions put forward by Mr. Chadha.”

Chadha needs to give his thick skull a REAL BIG SHAKE.


THIS week, the Montreal Gazette reported that the provincial land registry indicates that Chadha took out a new $1.7-million mortgage on his Westmount home last April.

The newspaper noted that last year in April, the provincial Liberal government had told Chadha and Jeffrey Mine President Bernard Coulombe – who are now co-owners of a new company called Mineral Fibre Inc. which owns the Jeffrey Mine - that it would provide them a guarantee on a $58-million loan if they could get $25 million in private investments to reopen the asbestos mine.

The Montreal Gazette reported that the two businessmen have been able to find only a Thai company to invest, but the irony is that the government of Thailand is seriously considering a ban on asbestos.

That company - Ulan Marketing Co. Ltd. – has come up with $14 million and the two businessmen have put together the remaining $11 million in private investment.

Guy Versailles, a spokesperson for the Jeffrey Mine, told the newspaper when asked about reports that the businessmen had to remortgage their assets: “You have to be careful when you start talking about remortgaging and such. What we know is that businessmen like Mr. Chadha, who have all kinds of different investments, they mortgage their homes and leverage their assets left and right. It’s normal.”

Quebec Premier, Jean Charest, who is desperate to win in the upcoming provincial election, last month suddenly announce that his government would now give a $58-million loan to reopen the asbestos mine – and once again start KILLING POOR INDIANS IN INDIA with cancer and other asbestos-related diseases!

AND in India, the highly respected Hindu newspaper reports that Toxics Watch Alliance (TWA), an Indian advocacy initiative and one of two members of the Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) movement, has stepped up its lobbying with the Indian federal government to stop asbestos usage by banning imports.

TWA said in a statement: “India has taken a position which considers white asbestos a hazardous substance. Mining of asbestos is technically banned in India. Trade in asbestos waste (dust and fibres) is also banned. The government should take the next logical step and phase out asbestos use.”

TWA’s convener Gopal Krishna said: “Artificial pricing through governmental patronage has made asbestos cheaply available.

Krishna noted: “There are multiple alternatives to the multiple uses of asbestos.” He pointed out that industries and countries that have banned asbestos have managed to do without it because of the availability of substitutes. Commonly cited alternatives to asbestos are cellulose and agricultural fibres.

The Hindu said: “While Indian delegates distanced themselves from Canada’s position on asbestos trade at the U.N.’s Rotterdam Convention in 2011 by favouring listing asbestos as a restricted chemical, the Supreme Court of India refused to ban the substance in January 2011, instead directing state governments to regulate its use and manufacture.”

The newspaper also reported: “In the midst of demonstrations by villagers against asbestos plants in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha [Orissa] among others recently, TWA has urged the government to begin a compensation fund for the victims of asbestos related diseases, in addition to phasing out all use of the substance. “The only way to prevent deadly diseases is to prevent mining, trade, manufacturing and use of all forms of asbestos and asbestos-based products,” said the release.”


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