Villagers protest to demand closure of smelting plant in Ayutthaya
Over 200 residents of Lat Bua Luang district in Thailand’s central province of Ayutthaya held a protest yesterday (Monday) to demand the closure of a scrap metal smelting plant, which they accuse of emitting a foul smell and threatening the environment and their health for the past five years.
They decided to take to the streets to protest the CP Industry Company, which operates the facility, because it has failed to address the issues as promised.
Problems with the scrap metal processing plant date back to 2014, when resident’s representatives sued the Ayutthaya provincial industrial office and five of its officials for malfeasance in office, for allowing the company to operate in a way which is threatening to the environment and their health. The residents also took the case to the Central Administrative Court.
On September 4th 2018, the Central Administrative Court ordered the withdrawal of the facility’s license, which would have permitted the company to expand its operations to cover smelting and separation of electronic waste.
The company, however, successfully appealed the court’s order, claiming that it was in the process of bringing in equipment to eliminate the foul smell, which they claim is expected to be functional in eight months.
The affected residents, however, are unyielding and have demanded that the company’s operating license be fully withdrawn.
Political activist Srisuwan Janya, who was present at the protest yesterday to listen to the grievances of the residents, promised to take their case to the Administrative Court to demand an injunction to suspend the recycling operations.