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Pollution glare on 4 firms

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 26.07.13
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Ranchi, July 25: Jharkhand High Court today issued notices to Monnet Ispat, Punjab State Power Corporation and Damodar Valley Corporation for polluting River Damodar.

It also directed Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) to file an additional affidavit to counter similar allegations against it.

A division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Tatia and Justice Jaya Roy was hearing a PIL filed by Suresh Oraon of Chatra. The petitioner said coal deposits from CCL’s open cast mines in Purnadih area of the district were increasing toxicity of the river.

The high court had, earlier, ordered Chatra DC to conduct a personal inquiry and inform it whether the coal subsidiary was responsible for “degeneration” of the river. The DC’s report was presented in court, along with photographs, which confirmed claims of the petitioner.

Oraon’s counsel Anup Kumar Agarwal said that CCL had polluted the river water so much so that it had become unfit for human consumption.

Defending the company, advocate A.K. Mehta said that mining activities were started at Purnadih in 2010 after obtaining all necessary environmental clearances.

Mehta also claimed that a five-metre-high embankment had been built by the colliery to prevent mine waste from reaching the river. “The water of Damodar is not polluted and is used in CCL colonies,” he argued.

Oraon’s counsel begged to differ and informed the court that several other industries, including Monnet Ispat, Punjab State Power Corporation and DVC, were also responsible for increasing levels of water pollution.

The next hearing is on August 26.