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Pollution rap for power plant

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By SHASHANK SHEKHAR
  • Published 17.02.12
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The district administration has filed a case against Bokaro Thermal Power Station (BTPS) for releasing hazardous industrial waste into the Konar river in spite of repeated reminders asking the DVC–run company to take preventive measures.

The case (1/2012), filed by Bermo sub-divisional officer (SDO) B.N Choubey on Februray 4 in his own court on behalf of the district administration, seeks an explanation from BTPS chief engineer J.P Singh under section 133(1K) of IPC dealing violation of pollution norms.

BTPS has long been under fire for allowing discharge of poisonous effluents into the river Konar. In 2010, Jharkhand Pollution Control Board tested water samples collected from the river and served a notice to BTPS under the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Later, in the face of continuing public outcry, that included a series of demonstrations held by local residents, the power station sanctioned Rs 350 crore for a clean-up exercise aimed at zero-discharge of pollutants, primarily ash slurry, which were posing a serious threat to residents as well as plants and crops.

Two years have passed since then, but BTPS hasn’t changed its ways. This despite a series of meetings the district administration held with the company management in December 2011 and January 2012.

The Bermo SDO had sought explanations from BTPS chief engineer Singh on two occassions. First, between January 10 and 16, and then again on the 18th. Singh did not turn up on any of the dates, prompting deputy commissioner Sunil Kumar to ask Choubey to file a case.

“DVC officials have time and again made tall promises about going all out to reduce water and air pollution. But, the end result till date has been very disappointing as the company continues to discharge hazardous industrial waste into the river,” Kumar told The Telegraph, justifying his action.

Chief engineer Singh claimed his company was taking several initiatives to reduce pollution. However, he refused to comment on the case, saying that their lawyer would explain the situation to the authorities.

“We, too, want a pollution free atmosphere at Bokaro thermal township,” he signed off.