Bhubaneswar:14/9/17: Odisha State Pollution Control Board has ordered shutdown of Vedanta group’s coal-based captive power plant on the charge of perpetrating pollution.
Earlier last week the OSPCB has directed Vedanta Group to scale down power generation to minimum level, which is required to keep the plotlines of aluminium smelter unit running.
The closure order will be enforced after September 20. The OSPCB has also revoked consent to operate of another 1200 mw (600 mw x 2) of the power plant as the company authority failed to convince pollution watchdog about measures taken to manage fly-ash stock.
The OSPCB’s stern warning comes in the wake of cave-in of the dyke of ash pond erected by Vedanta group to store fly ash in Jharsuguda district on August 28 night. Experts from pollution panel had inspected the site on September 1 and found the Bheden River, a tributary of Odisha’s largest Mahanadi river system critically polluted following the ingress of toxic fly ash slurry. Besides pollution caused to the water-body, the panel had found the plant-side farmlands badly damaged following the watery inundation of toxic industrial effluents.
An estimated 42.24 lakh Metric Tons of toxic fly ash slurry from the ash pond had galloped its way to the river, croplands, village areas and plant-side wetlands, triggering colossal environmental and ecological damage to the area. If the trend continues and the ash pond dykes cave in future, it will invite irreparable environmental disaster to the area. OSPCB has taken a very serious view of the situation and will initiate legal action against the unit. The show cause notice is a prelude to framing of legal proceedings against Vedanta group, said a senior official of OSPCB.