Tuesday, March 3, 2015

WIO's Mahanadi River Basin Update - 2nd March 2015!

Theme: Coal and Mahanadi

Vedanta’s fly ash pond is illegally built on forest land

Dear Friends/Co-sailors,

We are shocked to learn that the Vedanta group of company’s Sesa Sterlite Industries, at Bhurkamunda of Jharsuguda district, has built its fly ash pond by illegally encroaching upon 246.74 acres of forest land in complete violation of the Forest Conservation Act 1980. 

This is unlawful and the company must be immediately punished for this criminal offence.

While the ash pond has been built since 2009-2010, and the local people have always complained about its illegality, ironically the Forest Department is said to have intervened in this matter only in 2013. All these years therefore, the illegal fly ash pond kept operating in connivance with the Forest Department. 

What surprises us more is that the Forest Department is said to have written only one letter requesting the company in this regard while they should have shut the fly ash pond by now.

The role of the local administration and most importantly that of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) is also dubious in this case.  How can such an unlawful operation go without their support?   All the concerned officials, who have deliberately let Vedanta continue with this illegal act, should also be questioned and punished in this case.

Since the year 2010, WIO has been pointing at the blatant and open violations of environmental and other laws by Vedanta group of companies in that area.  We have also been urging upon the state government to not allow any thermal power plant without first ensuring the proper management of fly ash.  However, this case once again exposes how the state government has been neglecting the health and well-being of the local people, forests, water bodies and rivers by allowing the companies like Vedanta to loot local resources, destroy the environment and flout laws of the land.

We urge upon the state government of Odisha to effect an immediate closure of the illegal fly ash pond, free the forest land from the company’s clutches and punish all who are responsible for violating the laws of the land in this case.

For further information on the issue and support our campaigns, please contact:

Ranjan K Panda

Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Global Waterkeeper Alliance)
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO)

Mobile: +919437050103
Email: ranjanpanda@gmail.comranjanpanda@yahoo.com

Skype: ranjan.climatecrusader

Tweet @ranjanpanda
Tweet @MahanadiRiver

Blog: http://www.climatecrusaders.blogspot.com/

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