Daily Archives: August 23, 2012

Pollution Control Board didn’t act against Hindalco in time: NGO

Water Initiative Odisha (WIO) has accused the state pollution control board (PCB) of not taking proper action against Hindalco in spite of being well aware about the company’s faulty ash management.

“The PCB was aware of it since 2010, but instead of initiating any action against the company, the board washed its hands of the matter by serving a show cause notice to the company. Even that was a mere eye wash,” WIO convenor Ranjan Panda said during a press conference on Monday.

“Had the pollution control board taken the issue seriously in 2010, the incident of breaches in Hindalco’s ash pond could have been averted,” Panda said. He asked the board to forfeit the Rs 2-crore bank guarantee of the plant made against a declaration of not violating pollution norms.

Panda and environment lawyer of Orissa high court Bibhu Prasad Tripathy went to Hirakud on Monday to take stock of the situation. “If the state pollution control board is really serious about controlling pollution, it should have found out the faults in the ash pond design during regular monitoring. Such huge breaches don’t happen accidentally,” Panda alleged. Tripathy said the incident has become a major policy issue in the state.

Firing at roadside dhaba creates flutter in Sambalpur

The firing incident that took place in Sambalpur’s Sarlakani area on Tuesday afternoon has created panic in the town. This was second such case here in five days and the sixth in last two months.

Police sources said the victim, identified as Md Sonnu, was at a road side dhaba along with his two friends when four persons came on two bikes and asked the dhaba workers to serve food. Since it was late in night, they were unable to serve food immediately. The guests got angry and started scolding the boys. One of them fired at Sonnu when he interfered. The bullet struck him on his right shoulder and the assailants fled the spot leaving Sonnu in a pool of blood. Sonnu was first admitted to the district headquarters hospital and later shifted to VSS Medical College and Hospital in Burla. He was later shifted to a Cuttack hospital later in the night.

“We have registered a case and started a manhunt for the culprits. But we have not yet succeeded in arresting them,” Dhanupali police inspector P K Rout said on Wednesday.

Firing incidents have become a regular affair in Sambalpur and adjoining areas, locals have alleged. SP Nikhil kanodia has formed a special squad to curb these incidents, a senior police officer of the district said.

On August 16, two youths were shot at in front of Gangadhar Meher College. It was a fall out of rivalry between two gangs. Earlier on July 21, a firing incident took place near a liquor shop on a highway in Tangarpali area of the town.

OSPCB team to probe Shyam Metaliks ash pond leak

The Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) has sent a team to inspect ash pond leak of the power unit of Shyam Metaliks and Energy in Sambalpur district, after receiving allegations to this effect.

“We have sent a team to inspect the matter there. We will take action against the company after receiving the report,” said Sidhhant Das, member secretary of OPSCB.

Locals residing near Rengali area of Sambalpur district on Tuesday complained that leakage of ash from the power plant of Shyam Metaliks and Energy has affected their farm fields and nearby canals. Following the complaint, the state pollution watchdog has sent a team to investigate the matter.

 

The company has a 25 MW power plant, which draws water from Hirakud reservoir through nine kilometer long pipeline.

Earlier this month, the power plant of Hindalco’s smelter unit at Hirakud was in the dock for the breach in its ash pond which led to inundation of nearby paddy fields with ash mixed polluted water.

The state water resources department has even filed a police case against the aluminium maker.