Okhla residents to begin Anna-style fast unto death against toxic plant
OT, 0 IST
After being “snubbed” by New Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, some Sukhdev Vihar residents opposed to the fast coming up toxic plant in Okhla have decided to observe a fast unto death. They strongly feel that the method that was recently adopted by social activist Anna Hazare successfully against the Central government against corruption would come handy to them in pressurizing the government in stopping work at the proposed waste-to-energy plant in Okhla.
Since their demand for closure was turned down by the CM and other government departments, they had been working on modalities how to convince the government. After several meetings, they have planned to unleash a Gandhian-style protest. Now they are deciding on a location.
Asha Arora, who heads the Okhla Anti-Incinerator Committee, said: “Some of us have volunteered to do it and the rest will join in the indefinite demonstration. We are deciding between the project site, Mathura Road and even Jantar Mantar as the location for our demonstration.”
Residents of Sukhdev Vihar in South Delhi have been peacefully protesting against the waste-to-energy plant since the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), in collaboration with Jindal ITF Ecopolis, decided to build Rs 200-crore project at Okhla. The plant plans to convert more than 1,000 tonnes of solid waste into electricity from July. Residents fear that the technology used in the plant is obsolete and can only endanger their lives. The toxic plant is coming up 150 metres away from the colony’s boundary. Holy Family Hospital and Escorts are just nearby. Also, Haji Colony and Jamia Nagar are located nearby.
Residents are concerned that a “periodic” emission of cancer-causing gases dioxin and furan from the plant can damage health of the locals. They have continued with their protests and last week they even marched to Jantar Mantar in solidarity with Anna Hazare’s fast to make their voice heard.
But the Delhi government has brushed off their concerns saying that they are not well informed to decide whether the project will have a long-term impact on the health of the residents. To convince the protesting residents, the Delhi government had also handed them copies of various literature and technical reports of waste-to-energy plants claiming that the plant is not harmful. Right now the residents have roped in experts to evaluate the reports.
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