Odisha water resource dept files FIR against Hindalco unit

The state water resource department has filed a FIR against the Hirakud smelter unit of Hindalco for its failure to check leakage of ash slurry from the captive power plant of the company into the nearby farm fields and canal.

The canal division junior engineer P K Patel of Sambalpur distributary has filed a case against the management of the company on the basis of section 430 of Indian Penal Code, which says wrongful diversion of industrial waste which disturbs irrigation projects is a punishable offense and attracts a jail term upto five years with financial penalty.

“We are currently examining the technicalities of the matter with the help of experts. No arrest has been made so far in the case,” said Rabindra Kumar Mallick, inspector in-charge of Hirakud police station, where the FIR has been lodged.

Meanwhile, Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) Arabinda Padhee has directed the local authorities to ensure that farmers get adequate compensation for the crop loss caused by the recent breach in the ash pond of the Hindalco unit at Hirakud.

The ash pond of aluminium smelter and power complex of Hindalco last week developed cracks and overflowing ash mixed water inundated large chunk of agricultural land in the surrounding villages and entered into canals of Sambalpur distributary following incessant rains in the area during the period.

In a bid to check the damage, the Odisha state pollution control board (OSPCB) has asked the company to stop operation at its thermal power plant. Following the notice, Hindalco has so far shut down two units of its 367 Mw captive power plant.

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