Environmental Activists in Delhi for World Water Day Rally

Activist communities from six states will participate in a massive public rally on World Water Day.

Feature story - March 18, 2005
NEW DELHI, India — Greenpeace and pollution impacted communities from Bhopal (MP), Kodaikanal (Tamil Nadu), Eloor (Kerala), Paradip (Orissa), Patancheru (Andhra Pradesh) and Delhi are coming together on this World Water Day (March 22, 2005) in New Delhi for a massive public rally to renew their demand for clean water, clean air, clean-food and a toxic-free future.


Our water resources (rivers, lakes, groundwater) are poisoned irreversibly, with the chemicals showing up in breast milk and human blood too. Entire eco-systems and the species dependent on them are under threat because of the uncontrolled release of chemical waste and effluents in our water bodies.

Greenpeace, independent scientists and civil society groups have presented enough instances of toxic chemical pollution and its impacts on human health and our environment.

The World Water Day rally will be led by the feisty women of Bhopal, survivors of the world's worst industrial disaster, who 20 years later are still battling for provision of clean drinking water. They will be joined by people from other communities campaigning against similar challenges: The Kodaikanal community, impacted by the mercury poisoning of their pristine hill forests, a sensitive water-shed area, polluted due to the malpractices at Hindustan Lever's thermometer factory; The community of Eloor living by the river Periyar in God's own country, marred by the environmental havoc caused by the unregulated industries of the Eloor Industrial estate; People from Patancheru, where lakes have borne the brunt of chemical poisoning from the Medak Industrial Estate; and fisher-folks of Orissa, who are literally stuck between hell and high water, trapped between Oswal Chemicals and the poisoned sea-inlets.

The Honourable Supreme Court of India has repeatedly ordered closure of these factories and similar polluting behemoths across the country; it has even appointed a monitoring committee (SCMC) to ensure that its orders are followed and remediation measures are in place. But unfortunately nothing has changed because of the lack of political will, and corruption in the highest offices of the state and central government. Which is why these communities are putting out a clarion call, a challenge -

Bahut ho gaya! Rhomba achhu! Jagirindi chalu! Khup zhal! Bahu thai gayu! Mathiye mathi! Enough is Enough! TAKE ACTION NOW!

We are demanding that the Government should take immediate action and

· Shut down Polluting Factories that are violating Supreme Court's directives on hazardous waste management.

· Rehabilitate and Remediate pollution impacted workers, communities and environment.

· Invest in Clean Production practices.

· Make Corporations Accountable.

· Revamp the Pollution Control Boards both at the centre and the state level.

We appeal to you to join us at this rally and make it a success because we have had enough of rhetoric and demand action.

Participating organisations include:

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karamchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Ki Awaz, Bhopal Group for Information and Action, Ponds Hindustan Lever Ltd. Ex Mercury Employees Welfare Association, Periyar Mallikarana Viruddha Samiti, Jainikiya Vedi, Peoples' Union for Civil Liberties, United Artists' Association, Orissa Traditional Fishworkers Union, Samudram, Patancheru Anti-Pollution Committee, Gandigudam Youth Group and other representatives from all these communities.

Read BAHUT HO GAYA - A Briefing Paper

For more details contact:

Bidhan Chandra Singh, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace India. +919845535405

Namrata Chowdhary, Media Officer, Greenpeace India. +919810850092

Greenpeace India

Note 1

World Water Day Rally:

DATE: 22nd March 2005 TIME: 10 am

Route of Rally: Ranjit Singh Flyover to Parliament Street, via Janpath and Jantar Mantar

Note 2:

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