India: Villagers lock down iron factory

Jamshedpur: Annoyed by the air pollution caused by Sidhi Vinayak Metacom Limited, a sponge iron unit at Chowka under Seraikela-Kharsawan district, villagers from adjoining areas forcefully closed the company on Friday.

Submitted by Steven. on January 24, 2006

Police said the villagers had staged a dharna* in front of the company’s main gate on December 27, 2005, asking the company to install an electrostatic precipitator to control air pollution caused by the exhaust gas of the plant.

The gherao had been lifted only after the company management gave a written assurance to the villagers that they would make arrangements within a fortnight. “After the management failed to make arrangements to reduce the air pollution from the unit as per its earlier promise, the villagers locked the company on Friday afternoon,” the police said.

A police officer said the villagers were not ready to listen to any explanation from the company regarding the non-installation of the device.


*Dharna: A fast conducted at the door of an offender, especially a debtor, in India as a means of obtaining compliance with a demand for justice, such as payment of a debt. The image is dharna staged by the residents of Siahar village in Ludhiana in December.