Environmental public hearing for the Rs.1,785-crore facility organised
The environmental public hearing for Asian Paints’ manufacturing plant proposed at a cost of Rs.1,785 crore was organised here, about 65 km from Visakhapatnam, on Wednesday amid strong demand by the local people for jobs in the project.
The investment is envisaged over a period of 12 years to achieve a production capacity of five lakh kilo litres per annum.
Asian Paints, India’s largest and Asia’s third largest paint manufacturer with a turnover of Rs.155.34 billion, had been allotted 113.5 acres by the APIIC.
The company said that it would set up a 4 MW solar plant. The water requirement was put at 1,600 kilo litres per day.
Braving heavy rain at the venue of the project site, where impregnable security arrangement was made, the villagers from Pudimadaka, Atchutapuram, Rambilli, and other areas said that over 5,000 acres was acquired for the A.P. Special Economic Zone-Atchutapuram a decade ago with the promise of providing employment to one member of each displaced family.
“Though the area is bustling with industrial activity, local people are not being offered any job. As a result, the livelihood of hundreds of fishermen, toddy-tappers, and others has been hit hard,” said Merugu Chinarajulu, a local activist.
A.P. Rythu Sangham district president A. Balakrishna said that the local people were totally disenchanted with the promises of the leaders following failure to provide jobs to them in the projects that had come up in the APSEZ.
“There is also fear of pollution because of frequent accidents at the APSEZ, Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City, and other industrial clusters. We want clearance only after allaying our doubts,” he said.
Promising transparency, District Collector N. Yuvaraj, who noted down the proceedings, said he would convey the views expressed by the people at the public hearing to the government for necessary action.
“We are in the process of getting all approvals for the plant. It will be one of the largest plants of the company with state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities. It will generate direct employment to 700 people, including contract workers, at full capacity,” Asian Paints vice-president, supply Chain, Aashish Kshetry, told The Hindu .