Roha chemical manufacturers threaten strike

April 18th, 2008 - 9:24 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, April 18 (IANS) The chemical manufacturers in Roha, an industrial hub in Maharashtra, have threatened to bring their production units to a standstill “if the harassment from local politicians and bureaucrats does not stop”. Speaking at a press conference here Friday, R.R. Gokhale, general secretary of Roha Industrial Association, alleged that politicians in collaboration with bureaucrats from the pollution department were threatening industrialists “under the cover of environmental concern”.

Gokhale said the total exports from Roha touched Rs.12 billion ($300 million). Though Maharashtra Industrial Development Corp (MIDC) put the town on its map 40 years ago, “till two years back we never encountered any problems”, he added.

Elaborating on the sudden spurt in problems, an association member said: “In the past one year, there have been six cases of threats and assaults against employees of industrial units, by goons of local politicians.”

Gokhale added that one-day closure of production would cause a loss of Rs.80 million.

Most of the members said prestigious and respected firms like Dharamsi Morarji Chemicas, Clairant Chemicals, Sudharshan Chemicals, Excel Chemicals and Rhodia Chemicals among others were operating in Roha, a small town located some 120 km away from here.

According to Gokhale, “Most of the industrial units are facing closure and lives of 10,000 workers are at stake as many small and medium enterprises, tired of unsubstantiated allegations and threats have started shifting out from Roha to other places.”

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