Indian-origin community opposes Tata plant in Durban | india | Hindustan Times
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Indian-origin community opposes Tata plant in Durban

An Indian-origin community in Durban is opposing the setting up of a smelting plant near their residential area by India's Tata Steel.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 11:50 IST

A small Indian-origin community in the town of Richards Bay, on the east coast of South Africa, has joined others in opposing the setting up of a smelting plant near their residential area by India's Tata Steel.

The residents of Brackenham, who live close to the proposed 650 million rand ferrochrome smelter, are among several communities who say emissions from the plant could pose a health hazard.

They have joined organisations such as the Clean Air Association of Richards Bay and GroundWork in filing objections to the Department of Environmental Affairs and the provincial government.

"We have done numerous studies on the setting up of the proposed ferrochrome plant and have come to the conclusion that the plant near residential areas will lead to serious environmental problems," said Sandy Maccinga, a spokesperson for the Clean Air Association.

She said they had submitted objections to the Department of Environmental Affairs more than two months ago but have heard nothing from the department.

"We are not opposed to Tata opening a plant. That should not be set up near the residential areas. Already the pollution levels are too high in Richards Bay (which is about 100 kms north of Durban)," she said.

A spokesperson for Tata Steel, Somdeb Banerjee, said he was confident that the company's proposal satisfied all possible health and environmental issues.

"Our emission will be no greater than the ones already emitted by other factories in the Richards Bay area," he said.