Residents of Sindhu Colony in Sidhgora point out the damage. Pictures by Bhola Prasad
Residents of Sindhu Road at 10 No. Basti in Sidhgora have stopped children from playing outside. Families shun backyards and wear slippers 24/7.
The reason? Around eight to 10 households in the area are complaining of continuous seepage of a thin “water-like” liquid from the nearby Tinplate Company of India Ltd (TCIL) premises for the past 18 months. There are puddles of the liquid on the road too.
What looks like a sewerage leak is compounded by the fact that residents allege the clear liquid is “warmer than water and acidic”.
“We always wear slippers nowadays because going barefoot causes skin irritation. You can see how the liquid seeps in,” R.N. Ojha, a resident of Sindhu Road, said, showing a room whose floor has turned brick-red with continuous exposure to the liquid.
Neighbour C.K. Majhi also invited The Telegraph inside to show his stained floor. “Can water stain the floor like this?” he asked.
However, TCIL officials in their response said the liquid was merely drain water.
TCIL manager (administration) Lokesh Verma told The Telegraph that a team visited the area earlier this month to gauge the problem.
“It is the flow of drain water. There is no chemical content in the liquid. Our technical people will check if the leak had occurred anywhere within the company’s premises. If so, we will do the needful,” said Verma.
He made it plain that the company’s responsibility ended with finding the fault, if any, on its premises. He also added that the area was “encroached”.
MLA Raghubar Das, who had paid a visit to the area earlier this month based on complaints made by residents, also met TCIL officials regarding the problem last week.
“I had been to the affected place and had seen the discomfort of residents. I took up the matter with TCIL officials. Though they denied there was chemical content in the water, I asked them to at least construct a drain in the area for the liquid to flow out. They readily agreed,” said Das.
Time is ticking, Tinplate.