24-hour strike against sterlite hits normal life in Tuticorin
The protest against the expansion of Sterlite that began in Tuticorin about six weeks ago intensified as there was widespread support for the 24-hour strike that demanded closure of the major copper producer. Residents have put forward the demand, alleging that the plant has been polluting air, water and soil due to discharge of harmful chemicals.
But for a few pharmacies all the eateries, hotels, shops, trade and commercial establishments remained shut from the early hours of Saturday. Autorickshaws, vans and minibuses too did not operate from 9 am. Production was stopped in the salt pans too while the 12 cinemas in the city also did not screen any shows throughout the day.
“More than 2,000 country boat fishermen did not go for fishing. More than 50 associations and organizations have extended support to the one-day strike,” M Krishnamoorthy, a coordinator of the protest told. Busy areas such as the Old Bus Stand, New Bus Stand, WGC Road and VE Road in the city wore a deserted look.
There was strong support to the strike also from Muthiahpuram, Mullakadu, Tharuvaikulam, Puthiamputhur and Srivaikundam. Thousands of people are expected to take part in the public meeting that has been organized by the protesters at VVD Signal in the city that would begin at 6.30 pm.