Tag Archives: Jharsuguda News

Fly Ash to take 30 acres of Land everyday

“In Odisha, the fly ash management issue cannot be looked into in isolation of the power plants and aluminium smelters. As the land, water and forest resources of the state cannot sustain the amount of coal fired power plants, Odisha government must not go ahead with its envisaged 75000 MW power generation plan.”

HNF Correspondent

The recent disasters with fly ash ponds in Sambalpur and Jharsuguda have concerned each and every citizen of Odisha.  While fly ash from coal fired power plants is considered to be toxic and cancerous, it is badly impacting lakhs of acres of farm land, severely polluting our water resources, poisoning our food and creating menace in different forms for the people living around.

There is an urgent need to regulate ‘fly ash generation and pollution’ in the state, said Ranjan Panda, Convenor of water Initiative Odisha (WIO) in the consultation session titled “Round Table on Fly Ash Menace in Odisha: Impacts on Water, Health, Environment and Livelihoods”. The session was organised by WIO in association with Citizens Action Forum (CAF), Angul.

 “The meeting was organised to devise a strategy by the concerned people and organisations of Odisha to device and push for an urgent fly ash management policy in the state”.

Prof. Arttabandhu Mishra, an eminent environmentalist said, “it’s a big trouble as at least 22 heavy metals are there in the fly ash, and 18 of them are cancerous that would lead to lungs, bone and other cancers in both humans and animals”. Prof Mishra also added that “by declaring fly ash as a saleable commodity, the Govt. of India has cleared the door to spread cancer in all the places of coal fired plants.”

Members who participated the consultation session expressed their concern over the callousness of the government towards the issue. The government is not even bothered to check open violation of laws by different companies. “None of the power plants are confirming to the pollution control regulations of the country,” said Rabindra Prasad Pattnaik, President of CAF adding, “Each of them is supposed to submit a Plan of Action to the government with regard to fly ash management. However, none do it.”

“The fly ash management issue cannot be looked into in isolation of the power plants and aluminium smelters”, opined the participants and urged, “Odisha government must not go ahead with the envisaged 75000 MW power generation plan as the land, water and forest resources of the state cannot sustain the amount of coal fired power plants.”

It was calculated that 700 gram coal required to produce one unit (1 kw per hour) of electricity produces about 300 grams of ash per unit. So, 300 Kg ash being produced every hour for I MW (1000 kw) electricity, Odisha’s plan to generate 75000 MW electricity shall generate 22500 metric tonne of ash per hour which requires around 1.2 acre of land to be dumped in a height of 30 feet.

As per the calculation, the fly ash produced in a day would take at least 30 acres of land in Odisha every day if all the fly ash mounts are made of 30 feet height. This will orphan lakhs of farmers and fisher folks of their basic sources of livelihood. The participants therefore urged upon the government to immediately scrap the blind push for coal fired power plants.

The consultation came up with a charter of demands that the organisers have decided to submit to the Govt. of Odisha and to use the same to educate the people of the state. Some key demands in the list include:

1. Urging the government to stop production in all coal fired power plants who are not confirming to fly ash management and other pollution control norms;

2. Asking the government to release a White Paper on the existing power plants, their coal, land, water and other requirements with transparent information on the legality of these resources they are in possession of/and or using for production;

3. Urge the government to immediately work on a power vision for the state and limit power production to meet the need of the state.

It’s to be noted that fly ash has its bigger brunt in the state of Odisha as it has not only destroyed agriculture and polluted environment but also poisoned the water of some important rivers and pushed people into chronic ailments.

Regional Level Consultation in Koraput

A two days Regional level Consultation on “the Implementation of Forest Rights Act, 2006” was organized by Bhumiadhikar Sangathan, Koraput  affiliated to the Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), Odisha on 24th  and 25th August 2012 at the Tribal Museum Koraput.

The consultation was inaugurated by  Mrs. Malati Nayak, the Sarpanch of the Ramgiri G.P and The State CSD, Odisha Convenor, Gopinath Majhi. The Member of the Bhuni Adhikar Sangatha, Gopal Nayak welcomed the participants and shared the objective of the programme.

The State CSD, Odisha Convenor, Gopinath Majhi presided over the meeting. Around 300 hundreds Tribals and Forest dwellers, Forest Rights Committee (FRC) Members, PRI members from 11 blocks of Koraput district and representatives from different western and southern  districts i.e Malkangiri, Nabarangapur, Rayagarda, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Baleswar, Cuttack, Jajpur and Bolangir participated in the consultation.

The participants coming from different blocks of the Koraput and other districts shared on the various FRA implementation issues in the grounds. Raising concern over the non recognition of community forest rights in the State, Gopinath Majhi said that “the State Government has failed to recognize the community rights over forest in the State even after the passing of four years”.

Attacking the role of Forest Department he said that, “the forest department has lost its “Jamindary” over forest after the enactment and implementation of Forest Rights Act. However it still continued to play a divisive role in the villages by promoting Vana Surakhya Samitis (VSS) which has lost its legality. Further he has warned the NGOs still involved in promoting, supporting and strengthening VSS after the enactment and implementation of FRA in the State”. 

Mrs. Malati Nayak raising the number of FRA implementation issues in the district said that, “in Koraput, FRC has not been formed in a number of forest and un-surveyed villages and FRC has been formed in a revenue village under which there are 20 big hamlets, Whatever 58 community forest rights titles said to have distributed in the district are not as per Section 3(1) over traditional boundary of forest but for 3(2) meant for developmental rights i.e school, Aganwadi centre etc.”

Ranjit Pangi, the convenor of the Adibasi Ekta Manch, Koraput said that “there are lot of gaps in the recognition of individual forest rights in the district, in most of the cases, less area has been recognized, individual forest rights of the Other Traditional Forest Dwellers(OTFD) has been rejected despite the approval and recommendation of the concern Gram sabha; the SDLC and DLC have arbitrarily decided over the claims disrespecting the decision of the Gram Sabha and in many cases, titles issued to the tribal has not been demarcated and verified etc.”

In the meeting, “VSS hatao Jungle Bachao”, “VSS ku Prosahan Douthiba NGO Hatao”, Jungle Aau Jamin Haharta-Amarta Amarta” etc slogans were loudly uttered.
 In the consultation , besides members of the Bhumin Adhikar Sangathan, representative of  CSD, Odisha, Odisha Jungle Manch(OJM) , Adibasi Ekta Manch, Koraput , Odisha Adivasi Adhikar Abhijan, Bhumi Adhikar Sangathan,Koraput, Dongar Adhikari Samiti,Lamataput, Mahila Mahasangh,Ramgiri, Machhkunda Basachyut Mahasangh,Koraput, Jami Jungle Adhikar Sangathan,Bargarh, Wadaka Anchal Vikash Parishad,Kalahandi, Hirakud Budi Anchal Sangram Samiti, Jharsuguda , Adivasi Adhikar Manch, Jajpur also participated.

From the government side participating the Consultation on the first day, the Koraput Sub- Collector, Ramakanta Nayak and in the second day Ramesh Patra, ZIlla parishad Member, Baipariguda joined the programme, heard the number of issued raised by the participants and assured them to address the issues raised as soon as possible.

In the second day of the programmes, the participants of the consultation have planned for filling more and more community forest rights claims in the coming days; to return the faulty individual forest rights titles issued them to the District Level Committee (DLC) and to strengthen the protest against the VSS and Forest Department who have been the main hurdles before proper implementation of FRA in the region.

All the members of various community organizations gathered in the consultation warned the State and District Administration, Koraput to go for a massive protest, if their demands are not full filled.

Vedanta Aluminium Commemorates Kargil Vijaya Diwas By Record Blood Donation

Vedanta employees at Jharsuguda paid a quite but strong tribute to the fallen heroes of Kargil on the occasion of Kargil Vijaya Diwas. A Record number 272 units of Blood Collected voluntarily by the employees of VAL and Donated to the Red Cross Society of Jharsuguda and Sambalpur.

On this occasion Inaugurating the event today held at VAL,FAC II District Magistrate and collector Mr. Guru Prasad Mishra wished that more and more such initiatives should be taken up by responsible corporates and appreciated the efforts. Present during the occasion Vedanta’s COO Mr. Abhijit Pati reassured that we are committed to our people around us and repeated the message to all that “Gift of Blood is gift of Life” and thanked employees for creating a record and history by supressing the previous record of 175 units of Blood of the Dist.

Shri Abhijit Pati Chief Operating Officer, VAL Jharsuguda took the lead along with Mr Gattu Rambhav, Mr Dayanidhi Behera, Mr Umesh Meheta,Mr K A Chowdary and other Sr. Members of family leads from the front  inspired others employee  to donate their blood.

This camp would not have been possible without all the help of District Red Cross Society Sambalpur and Jharsuguda and the keenness of Dr S Mishra Blood Bank Officer SBP, Dr S. JoJo Blood Bank Officer and Mr. Sashi Bhusan Naik, Mr. Bhagban Nayak (Technicians) and Other Support staff.

A large Numbers of Volunteers across the Department participated with a great enthusiasm to make this event a successful.

Government to cancel licenses of three doctors

The government would cancel the licenses of three Jharsuguda doctors, who were convicted in Januray 2012 for violating the pre-natal sex-determination law.

During a raid in 2009, the three medics, S D Sharma of Sairam Hospital, Beherapat, Ramaniranjan Tripathy of Central Hospital, Mandalia, and Purnachandra Pradhan of People’s Charitable Hospital and Research Centre, Belpahar, were found using ultrasonography machines at their private clinics without proper registration.

This, sources said, is against the PC & PNDT (Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act, 2002. The SDJM Jharsuguda had convicted them on January 31, 2012 and sentenced them to three years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs10,000 each.

They are still in medical practice as they appealed against the judgment. But after this, they will not be able to continue their medical practice.

“As per the order of the government, the district collector has asked me to furnish a report in this issue for the cancellation of medical licenses of Dr. Sharma, Dr. Mishra and Dr. Pradhan,” Jharsuguda CDMO Binod Nayak said on Sunday.

“The report is being prepared. It will be sent to the Indian Medical Registration Council which issues licenses to medical practitioners all over the country,” the CDMO added.

Section 18 of the PNDT Act states that no person shall open any genetic counselling centre or genetic laboratory or clinic, including centres having ultrasound or imaging machines or scanners or any other technology capable of undertaking determination of sex of foetus, unless it is duly registered under the Act.

The three doctors in question refused to comment on the matter.

Odisha asks Centre to sanction cluster development project

The Odisha government today asked the Centre to sanction a project under Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS) for the welfare of traditional weavers in western region of the state. “I propose that Government of India may sanction a project under CHCDS covering 25,000 looms as a Mega Cluster Development Project for implementation in Bargarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Sonepur and Boudh districts,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a letter to Anand Sharma, Union Commerce and Industry Minister.

Stating that these seven districts form a geographic cluster with 25,051 looms, Patnaik said the weavers of this area were highly skilled in weaving Ikat and Bomkai fabrics. “The proposed project aimed at improving the infrastructure facilities, better storage facilities, technology upgradation in pre-loom/ on-loom/ post-loom operations, weaving sheds, skill up-gradation,” Patnaik said.

The chief minister said that though the Cluster Development Programme under Integrated Handloom Development Scheme are under implementation in two clusters and 35 mini-clusters respectively in the state, much need to be done for a holistic development of this sector. “To overcome the bottlenecks and to enable institutional development, it would be essential to intervene in a bigger, systematic manner,” he said.