Dow's Pune project could turn into another Bhopal: Group

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New Delhi, Apr 23 (UNI) Dow Chemical's upcoming project could turn Pune into another Bhopal, a rights group claimed today.

The Lok Shashan Andolan alleged here that the Centre and the Maharashtra goverment have permitted Dow's Rs 300 crore project near a residential area in Chakan, Pune without reviewing any of the mandatory documents such as project report and environmental impact assessment.

''Dow's project was secretly cleared by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) on the basis of a three-page proposal, and without reviewing the mandatory Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC),'' claimed Justice (retd) Kholse Patil of Lok Shashan Andolan.

The group claimed that the project is allegedly a chemical R and D plant.

Quoting Pune-based engineers, the group claimed that the MPCB cleared the Dow proposal in a record time while more than 1500 industrial proposals that have fulfilled all criteria were still pending approval.

''Experts suggest that what little is known about the project indicates that it is like a medium-size production unit that will generate hazardous wastes, use more than 38 toxic chemicals and engage in risky, and often unpredictable experiments,'' the group said.

''We are not prepared to listen to pre-Bhopal style of assurances that the plant is safe...we want to know what Dow will use, what it will manufacture and what the impact will be,'' said Vilas Sonawane of the group.

Recently, the MIDC had turned down a request by an RTI activist to provide copies of the project proposal, MoU and other documents as information related to third party and Dow Chemicals has refused to part with the documents.

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