Odisha: NGT directs for spot inspection of OPGC ash pond

Jharsuguda: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Jharsuguda district administration and State Pollution Control Board to inspect an ash pond being constructed by Odisha Power Grid Corporation (OPGC) close to Sansaratikra village in Jharsuguda district. Also, the green tribunal on December 4, 2019, directed the district administration to submit a report after a spot visit before the next hearing.

Based on a petition filed by Maa Ambika Women Self Help Group, NGT has reprimanded both the OPGC, Banaharapali and the district administration for overlooking the allegations of villagers.

The SHG alleged that the norm says the ash pond should be constructed 48 metres away from human habitation. However, the OPGC has violated the guidelines and is setting up the ash pond only 20 meters away from the village. This apart, Hirakud reservoir is situated close to the ash pond. No public hearing was held before land acquisition for the pond, the petition stated.

“If the ash pond is allowed to be set up, water bodies near the village will be affected and locals will fall ill,” said a resident of Sansaratikra village.

Meanwhile, the State Pollution Control Board Chairman said he will visit the spot along with the Collector after getting a report from the Member Secretary of the pollution control board.

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