Getting habituated to a habit...
There is a competition to live a life that takes you farther from your roots. Our roots are inevitably ecological. Having gained the wonderful experience of knowing ecology from close corners over the last two decades, I behave like an objective chronicler of it. This blog is meant to be a contemporary chronology of ecology, economics and we the being. The blog will have text and visuals. Ranjan Panda
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
WIO's Mahanadi River Basin Update - 2nd March 2015!
Theme: Coal and Mahanadi
fly ash pond is illegally built on forest land
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
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
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
Ranjan K Panda
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Global Waterkeeper Alliance)