Sambalpur, Aug. 17: A team from the state pollution control board had to face the wrath of the local people after an ash mound of Hindalco Industry Limited (HIL) at Budhakata near Hirakud was breached.
Local people gheraoed the team of the state pollution control board and demanded a permanent solution to the problem. This is the second time this month that a breach has taken place at the Budhakata ash mound. Environmental engineer of the board Simanchala Dash said the breach had occurred because of faulty management of ash by Hindalco Industry Limited.
“There should be a guard wall, garland drain and settling pond for the ash mound. These norms have been violated by Hindalco. The member secretary directed me to visit the site and prepare a report,” said Dash.
“Action will be taken against Hindalco. The authorities will be asked to restore the breach. I will also recommend forfeiting Hindalco’s bank guarantee,” he said.
However, joint president of Hindalco Industry Limited Subir Mukhopadhyaya said: “We had repaired the breach that had occurred last time. However, because of heavy rainfall, ash overflowed over the sand bags that had been placed to block the flow.”
“We are waiting for the administration to take action against Hindalco. If they don’t, we will be compelled to take steps,” said Ashok Pradhan, adviser of Sambalpur district Krushaka Surakshya Sangathan.
Sub-collector Rainu Singh said: “Because of the breach, the ash has overflowed into the agricultural land and resulted in huge losses to the farmers. The revenue inspector has been directed to assess the losses.”