Just under seven months to the incident which led to the closure of the Weliweriya glove manufacturing plant, another Hayleys group factory, Hanwella Rubber Products Ltd located in Hanwella has taken public to the streets, interestingly for the same contamination issue.
According to sources close to Hayleys, the situation has been simmering for sometime. People in the Hanwella area have also filed a law suit against the factory, in the Avissawella Magistrate Court.
When Mirror Business contacted Hayleys Group Chairman Mohan Pandithage, he declined to comment on the developing situation in Hanwella as a case against them with regards to the Hanwella factory is currently being heard in courts.
“I am unable to make a statement on this because it might sometimes lead towards contempt of court. The case will be again taken for hearing on March 19 where we will be cross examined,” he said.
Apart from the yet unverified water contamination charges against the Hanwella factory, people are also accusing the owners for polluting the air as the factory burns furnace oil and firewood to generate energy.
However, the company claims that it has invested on converting the heating system of Hanwella factory from furnace oil to biomass.
Hayleys Group subsidiary Dipped Products Limited runs seven manufacturing subsidiaries in various parts of the country and a medical glove manufacturing company in Thailand and a marketing company in Italy.
Dipped Products was forced to close down its factory operating under Weliveriya Venigros (Pvt) Limited, due to unverified water contamination charges leveled against it. Later the company said it was re-locating the factory to Biyagama Board of Investment Zone at a cost of Rs.1 billion.
Dipped Products Limited is the world’s largest protective glove manufacturer accounting for 5 percent of the world’s non-medical rubber gloves. The current spate of incidents against the group’s factories is threatening not only the company’s performance but also the export income of the country.