Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kalinganagar (Jajpur), Nov 15:
Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) today sealed the Cold Rolling Mill (CRM) and Coke Oven units of one-million-tonne per annum (MTPA) steel plant of Jindal Stainless Ltd (JSL) at Kalinganagar industrial complex in Jajpur district on charges of repeated violations of pollution norms.
Armed with orders from the Jajpur collector a team of state government officials, which included Regional Officer of the OSPCB, Kalinganagar Anup Kumar Mallick and Sukinda tehsildar Umakanta Nayak, today visited the plant premises and sealed its Cold Rolling Mill (CRM) and Coke Oven units.
The company has been charged with discharging huge quantity of effluents containing toxic substances into the Ganda Nullah in violation of pollution norms.
Analysis of the discharge’s sample found that the effluents contained high concentration of phenol and cyanide, hazardous to health and surrounding water bodies, said sources in the OSPCB.
“The company has been served with show cause notices on repeated occasions but it had failed to meet the pollution norms time and again,” the RO, OSPCB Mallick said. The OSPCB had moved the collector’s office for sealing the plant’s CRM and Coke Oven units as the company repeatedly flouted pollution norms despite show cause notices, he said.
A JSL official said on condition of anonymity that the OSPCB report on high content of pollutants in the plant’s effluent discharge to the nullah was based on discharge sample collected much before the company installed equipment to control discharge of toxic substances in its effluents. They complained that the decision to seal the units was arbitrary and they had not been given a chance to keep their side.
JSL is one of India’s largest domestic stainless steel producers. It commissioned the Kalinganagar plant in 2011.
It may be recalled here that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had blamed industries for polluting the Brahmani River in its 108 page report submitted to the Odisha High Court on October 17 this year.
The Board, in its report submitted to the High Court in response to a PIL filed in this connection, had stated that the rate of pollution in Brahmani river had assumed alarming proportions due to the effluents released by the industries in four rivulets—Bangaru Nullah, Nandira Nullah, Damasala Nullah and Ganda Nullah—which fall into the river.
Following reports published in the print and electronic media about the pollution of Brahmani water due to exploration of chromite ore in the Sukinda valley and discharge of effluents by the other riverside industries, a petition was filed in the Odisha High Court.
The court, after hearing the petition, had asked the CPCB to submit a report in this connection in May this year. Acting on the directive, CPCB had furnished a 108-page report to the court on October 17.