Patkar joins Bihar farmers opposing asbestos unitBy IANS
Sunday, December 19, 2010
PATNA - Hundreds of farmers in Bihar have got a huge boost with Narmada Bachao Andolan leader-cum-activist Medha Patkar joining them in opposing the setting up of an asbestos sheet manufacturing unit and urging Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to look into their demand.
The farmers have launched a ‘Khet Bhachao Jeevan Bachao’ (Save fields, save life) movement against setting up the unit near Kanti in Muzaffarpur district.
In a letter to Nitish Kumar, Patkar said: “I request you to immediately stop setting up of an asbestos sheet manufacturing unit and ask top officials to invite farmers for discussing the issue.”
She said farmers have the right to protest against their land use for setting up of the unit. “Farmers are against setting up of such unit near their village,” she said.
Patkar informed Nitish Kumar that the farmland was allegedly bought on the pretext of erecting an agro-based industry. But later they were told that no agro-based industry would be set up on the land.
“Instead of an agro-based industry, an asbestos sheet manufacturing unit is being set up, which is bad for their health and environment,” she said.
She said asbestos producing units spread cancer in their vicinity.