Ranchi, June 18: Senior BJP leader Sarayu Roy today shot off a letter to chief minister Arjun Munda, alleging that Bokaro Thermal Power Station (BTPS), a unit of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), is causing pollution at the confluence of rivers Damodar and Konar.
The former legislator is also going to move Jharkhand High Court on the issue tomorrow.
Roy claimed that he had sent pictures of hazardous waste being released into Damodar by BTPS to the chief minister, urging him to take concrete steps to stop the malpractice. “This is just an example. In many places, industrial houses are busy polluting rivers and water sources. I have urged the chief minister to take action to check such misuse of water bodies,” Roy, also the president of Damodar Bachao Andolan, said.
The letter also points out that public and private sector industrial units were contributing to river, water and air pollution because the district-level environment committees, headed by deputy commissioners, were not vigilant enough.
Earlier on June 7, Roy had drawn Munda’s attention to illegal constructions reportedly being carried out by an industrial house on Chati rivulet and Deonad river, more popularly known as Damodar, at Bagmari village on the borders of McCluskieganj and Latehar.
“On May 30, I was in Bagmari village to observe Ganga Dussehra with the villagers. I came to know that Abhijeet Group was setting up an intake well on a rivulet that is a tributary of Damodar. To my horror, I found that the company has blocked the rivulet,” said the BJP leader.
Roy immediately took up the matter with the water resources department and Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) to find out whether the industrial house had taken requisite permission. “Neither the water resources department nor the pollution board officials said that permission was given to any industrial house for constructing the intake well on the rivulet,” Roy said, adding that the construction was illegal under the River Conservation Act and Soil and Water Resource Conservation Act.
Damodar is Jharkhand’s lifeline and passes though several districts before joining Hoogly at Kalna, Bengal.
Officials of Abhijeet Group, however, claimed that they had the permission to set up the intake well and hence the construction could not be termed “illegal”.
“Three years ago, we started the process of taking permission for the intake well from DVC. Our design has also been approved by DVC,” said Sanjay Shrivastava, a senior executive of Abhijeet Group, arguing that DVC was in charge of Damodar river and hence, authorised to issue permission for any constructions on the river.
Roy has forwarded copies of the letter he wrote to the chief minister to the water resources department as well as JSPCB.
“We will initiate a probe,” said the pollution control board’s member secretary S.K. Sinha.