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Published on : Jun 25, 2015

Almost 5,000 residents of a suburb in Shanghai protested on Wednesday over a rumor of a petrochemical plant being moved to their neighborhood. This was, however, dismissed by authorities to be false.

The protest showed public concerns about the environmental impact of initiatives such as petrochemical plants, and also the deep rooted distrust of the public for the local government.

In the last many years, residents of several Chinese cities have drawn to the streets to protest against environmentally harmful projects, according to the public it is a way to influence local officers who otherwise keep the public out of important decision making issues.

With police watch, throngs of demonstrators assembled on Wednesday evening in front of the local government’s compound in Jinshan district. The protestors were holding banners and shouting slogans against the possibility of a paraxylene plant to be relocated to a planned chemical area in Jinshan. Paraxylene is a harmful chemical which is used to produce plastics and fibers.

The protestors marched almost 4 kilometers covering a wide circle all along the town, which started from the government compound and returning back to the same point, chanting all along the way, chemical plants to stay out of Jinshan.
As commented by a 62 year old farmer from the town, the town is surrounded by chemical plants. The area is not safe and healthy. If more plants are moved around the town, it will be harmful to the future generations. 

In response to the protest, the district government issued a statement clarifying that the plant which is currently in Pudong district, would not be move to any other location but would be shut down.

The government organized a public session earlier on Wednesday, taking the opportunity officials assured residents of implementing proper measures for managing the chemical zone.