Vishnu Bhaiya, the chairman of the Assembly committee on pollution control, at the meeting with district officials on Tuesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
The Assembly committee on pollution control, environment and tourism has turned the heat on two industrial units in the district, including one from the Tata Group.
Led by Jamtara MLA Vishnu Bhaiya, the monitoring panel held a meeting with East Singhbhum district officials at Circuit House on Tuesday and sought details on India’s largest integrated power utility, Tata Power, in Jojobera and Potka-based Shah Sponge and Power Limited.
The scrutiny follows complaints lodged by social activist Budhram Soren, a resident of Garurbasa in Birsanagar, and former Potka MLA Amulyo Sardar.
While Soren accused the Jojobera unit of unrestrained fly ash emission, Sardar said the management of the Potka firm had reneged on its job promise to families affected by pollution.
“We held a preliminary round of discussion with the district administration on complaints against the two units. We will pay site visits tomorrow (Wednesday) and then hold another meeting with district officials and regional members of the pollution control board,” said Vishnu Bhaiya.
He added: “We will ask them to submit a report within stipulated time, maybe in a week, on the status and environment assessment impact of the two units.”
The Assembly committee chairman maintained that fly ash, a waste product of coal-based thermal power plants, was known for its damaging effects on farmland.
“There has been complaints that fly ash from Tata Power has ruined agricultural yield in riyati areas. Similar grouses have also been received against Shah Sponge. Based on our findings, we may even serve closure notices to the units,” he said.
The MLA further said that though the visit was primarily focussed on probing complaints related to pollution and environment, the committee would also bring under lens irregularities in implementation of tourism projects in the district.
“We have heard that government projects have not been properly implemented in East Singhbhum and also in Chandil in Seraikela-Kharsawan. We will plan a visit to the other district soon,” he said.