The Public Hearing was conducted for giving Environmental Clearance to Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) on 22.03.2013 at RDO office, Pathmanapuram. Additional District Magistrate (DRO) Mr.Palanisamy preside over the Public Hearing. On the Public Hearing, Fisherman Community Panchayat President of Manavalakurichi, refute all the allegations such as, radiation, environmental degradation, Sea Erosion etc., about the beach mineral mining. The above public hearing videos are available with Ministry of Environment and Forest and Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board office. Copy can be obtained under RTI from IREL itself.
Excerpts from the Manavalakurichi Town Panchayat President Speech is given below.
Tmt. Josephin Rita, Manavalakurichi Town Panchayat President
………………….First of all, I would like to tell. IREL is located within my Town Panchayat. When IREL started during 1909, by German Scientist, it was support by Periyavilai and Chinnavilai fisherman community people. Nobody questioned that time. I don’t know about that. History says so. In 1965, When Govt. of India took over the plant, the area was undeveloped and seemed to be tiny villages where people were living without knowing anything and without employment opportunities. After that, improvement in people’s living standard, economic development and increase in employment opportunities have been possible by IREL.
The people from nearby local areas were working and presently their generation also working there. ……..Many people talk about water scarcity, environmental damage and air pollution, but we are living in the area for the hundred years. No one has left from this village citing environmental damage. Only few people left this place for their own benefit bring up their children and their own self interest. Otherwise people are living there only. Even today, IREL is doing lot of benefits to the people around the mining area. There is no saline intrusion in the Manavalakurichi area. Within 100m, I am supplying good drinking water for my Town Panchayat. The water is contaminated due to poor rain fall in this area and less water is coming in this area. This is not the fault of IREL. ……
IREL is removing the radioactivity from the mineral sand and filling the mined out area with radioactivity free sand. Hence, there is no loss to us. ………
If any obstructions come from anybody, our Town Panchayat people and other locals will join together and give our whole support to IREL. I can tell lot of things. A part from this, I request that the IREL should function there continuously.
…….The local people from the mining areas should flourish by your activities. For the improvement of company, our people will extend their support in unity. I don’t have time to speak. Because of IREL, our living standard has been improved, not decreased.