Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 31:
Odisha government has slapped show-cause notices on 21 major industries, including some public sector undertakings (PSUs), for defaulting in payment of water cess since 2005-06 and has threatened to stop supply of water, if they do not pay their dues.
The companies have also been asked to sign a supplementary agreement with Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) to pay the tax as per their water usage.
If the companies do not pay dues and sign the agreement with OHPC (Odisha Hydro-Power Corporation) by November 20, water connection to these industrial units would be cut off, Water Resources chief engineer Ramakant Satapathy said.
It may be mentioned that the OHPC, in a letter to the Water Resources department, had informed that South Eastern Railway (SER), Jharsuguda Division, Orient Paper Mills, Ib Thermal, Hindalco, Bhushan and Steel Power, SMG Power Generation Ltd, Aditya Alumina, SPS Steel and Power, Shyam Metallics and Energy, Biraj Steel and Energy, Action Ispat and Energy, Vedanta Alumina, Sterlite, Ind Bharat Energy, MSP Metallics and Aryan Ispat and Power have been drawing water from Hirakud reservoir while the SER, Sambalpur Division and Rathi Steel and Power have been drawing water from Hirakud Power Channel.
Besides, the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Nalco have also been drawing water from the Upper Kolab reservoir, the Corporation said, adding that these industrial units have neither signed any agreement and nor have paid water cess since 2005.
Stating that the illegal drawal of water from these reservoirs has adversely affected power generation, the Corporation had urged the Water Resources department to take necessary actions against these 21 industrial units.
Acting on the letter, chief engineer, Water Resources, Ramakant Satpathy has served notices on these industries in a letter on October 22 this year, sources in the department said.
In the notice, the department has asked these industries to make agreement with the OHPC by November 20 and pay the required water tax and amount towards loss in power generation, failing which it would disconnect power connection to these industries from November 21.