Greenpeace action forces Industry to acknowledge Right to Information

Feature story - July 23, 2004
HYDERABAD, India — Greenpeace takes action on Citizen’s Right to Know campaign in Patancheru; Gets commitment from industry to adhere to Supreme Court order on hazardous chemicals.

Greenpeace activists plant signposts outside chemical industries, urging them to disclose all hazardous materials used in their process.

June 23rd, 2004: Greenpeace activists took direct action today to remind Aurobindo Pharma Limited, Pashamahilaram of their obligations under the Supreme Court directive to keep the community informed about the hazardous aspects of their industrial activities. The industry is expected to inform the public at large about all hazardous chemicals used as raw materials, stored on site, used in their production processes or present in emissions. Greenpeace activists today erected a notice board outside the factory site of Aurobindo Pharma, providing space for this Red Category industry to fill in detailed information about the hazardous materials used in their processes.

"The Supreme Court directive is progressive as it appreciates the power of Information in the hands of the community. It goes so far as to order the shutting down of Industries for non-compliance," said Bidhan Chandra Singh, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace India, "With this activity Greenpeace gave Aurobindo Pharma Limited the opportunity to take the lead on initiating clean production in this industrial estate and to set in place Industrial Ethics that respect every citizen's right to life." As a response, Mr. Narendra Reddy (DGM, Quality Control) of Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. promised to adhere to the Supreme Court Directive at the earliest.

Over the past week Greenpeace has been galvanizing the community in Patancheru to regain control of their environment through initiating people's science activities and highlighting how the community could use existing laws to extract information from the industry. Greenpeace has also recently released the Citizen's Right to Know Kit in Hyderabad, to further empower the community.

"The Supreme Court directive gives us a chance to know what poisons are being emitted by polluting industries in our area. The companies' attempts to stone-wall our demands for information on their production processes will no longer hamper the fight for our Right to Life," said Mr. Pochiah, a community representative from Patancheru.

"The Supreme Court directive is the first step towards clean production. It is no accident that countries with the most progressive Right to Know legislations also have a cleaner environment, informed citizenship and highly accountable Industry and State," said Bidhan Chandra Singh.

For further information, please contact:

Sanjiv Gopal, Campaign/Media Liaison, Greenpeace India-

+91-98455 35416.

Bidhan Chandra Singh, Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace India -

+91-98455 35405 [email protected]

Read more about the Greenpeace campaign to Save our Lakes.