Saturday, November 29, 2008

Agitation against Syngenta breaks out in Goa

Peoples agitation against Syngenta pesticides plant has began in Goa. Situated at Corlim village panchayat jurisdictions has been given environmental clearances for expansion of its existing facilities at Santa Monica works. Environmental Clearance order granted on October 30, 2008 by the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) in New Delhi ignore existence of tribal villages of Dulapi and Mangado bordering land occupied by Syngenta's. Existing capacity at the plant site is 8700 tonnes of pesticides. Expansion clearance will facilitate this production to 12650 tonnes per annum.

Amongst the pesticides produced and granted environmental clearance granted from expansion is notorious 'Monocrotophos' that is banned in different part of the World. The existing production of it is 1500 tonnes per annum and it Will remain the same.

Syngenta's is leading global corporate with origin in Switzerland dealing with seeds and pesticides production and marketing. It earned 1,743 US $ million in seed sales in 2006. While in 2004 it earned 6,030 US$ million in selling pesticides (Agro-chemicals) capturing 17% of the global pesticides market.

Past two gram Sabhas of Corlim village Panchayat witness vehement public protest against Syngenta expansion plans. Last Gram Sabha was not allowed to proceed ahead as the elected representatives failed to answer the Syngenta related questions raised by public. Two days ago public meeting was organised in the village to protest against the Syngenta getting expansion permissions. Yesterday group of 25 Corlim villager staged "Halla Bol" move against Goa State Pollution Control Board member secretary. The group also lodged their protests against the Additional Deputy Collector North Goa for the same reason.

Syngentas has been releasing dangerous gases in the surrounding villages causing innumerable health problems. Syngentas has also lied in during the Public Hearing held on February 29, 2008 that it does not produce Monocrotophos in its Goa site. Several individuals and organisations had lodged their strong objections to the expansion of Syngenta pesticides plant but as usual Central government has once again treated Goa as its Colony for dangerous industry to the peril of its residents and Indigenous People.

Sebastian Rodrigues

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