Former Minister Matanhy Saldanha while dismissing Meta Copper and Alloys Ltd’s contention that they were running in losses, urged the Government to closely monitor the change of management in the company so that the new management does not change the process used in the plant.
Saldanha who along with others, led the agitation against the Meta Strips Plant, as it was christened then during its inception on grounds that it would be a polluting unit since it proposed to smelt copper waste to extract copper cautioned the new investors against changing the processes used at the plant.
Following a massive agitation that resulted in one person getting crippled for life, the company changed its process and instead of smelting copper waste, adopted a new procedure whereby copper ingots were melted.
Saldanha while pointing out that smelting of copper waste is not permitted anywhere in the world as it is proven to be harmful to the workers and also the environment, said that Goans will not allow reverting to this procedure in the future. He also pointed out that the African countries that permitted smelting of copper waste are suffering for it today.
He dismissed the company’s claim of having run into losses and argued that while changing hands, the land allotted to the company at a pittance has appreciated considerably and the company will be adequately compensated for the land, which should not only off set the losses if any, but will result in the company making healthy profits.
Saldanha also urged the government to closely monitor the change of management to ensure that there is no change whatsoever in the manufacturing process to protect the lives of Goan and also that there is no third party claim created on the land that was allotted to the company through Goa Industrial Development Corporation.
“If the company is seeking to make a profit by transferring the land that was given to it as a cheap rate to provide employment to locals, then it would be better if the land is reverted back to the GIDC so that GIDC can allot it a totally new firm,” he said.