MAC: Mines and Communities

Vedanta accused of polluting Andhra Pradesh

Published by MAC on 2011-07-18
Source: The Hindu, Press Trust India

Toxic red mud crosses Orissa border

The government of Orissa continues to discount any serious impacts of the recent breaches of Vedanta’s red mud pond at its Lanjigarh refinery. See: Vedanta - once more unto the breach!

But not so the citizens and state government of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh (AP).

According to the Movement for People-Centred Development, some 5,000 people in villages downstream of the spill are already experiencing the effects of toxic red mud discharges.

And  AP's Chief Minister is reported to have taken "a serious view of the pollution as people in many mandals [administrative divisions] of Srikakulam district are facing health hazards due to contaminated drinking water."

‘Pollution threat to villagers'

Special Correspondent

The Hindu

30 June 2011

Viskhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh - Following breaches in the red mud pond of the Vedanta's aluminium refinery at Lanjigarh, the birthplace of Vamsadhara, a vast agriculture area through which the river traverses in Srikakulam district and the people living in several mandals face the threat of polluted water, according to the Movement for People-Centred Development.

Red mud pond at Lanjigarh
Red mud pond at Lanjigarh. Source: Amnesty International

The breaches in the pond have resulted in a huge amount of the red mud sludge, a residue from the plant having highly toxic chemicals and heavy metals, getting deposited at the place where the Vamsadhara originates.

Already about 5,000 people in the nearby villages are experiencing the effect of toxic red mud sludge. The breaches occurred twice, during late May and in June recently and if the water level of the river goes up due to rain in the catchment, the red mud would be carried down the course of river and pollute a vast area in Srikakulam district.


The Orissa government must immediately take action against the Vedanta management for allowing the pollutant to enter the river and make it stop production till the red mud was removed from the river, demanded the environmental organisation.

The Vedanta management must bear the cost of medical treatment for every one who might get affected by the sludge, State committee member of the organisation J.V. Ratnam said.

There is every likelihood of the highly polluting red mud affecting people in more than 16 mandals in Srikakulam who use it as drinking water and the 1.67 lakh acres of agriculture land irrigated by the Vamsadhara, the environmental protection group said.

AP govt to approach Centre over pollution due to Vedanta plant

Press Trust India

1 July 2011

Hyderabad - Andhra Pradesh government has decided to approach the Centre with regard to the pollution of river Vamsadhara in Srikakulam district due to effluents from Vedanta aluminium factory in the neighbouring Orissa.

Government sources said Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today directed the AP Pollution Control Board to survey the affected areas.

The report would be forwarded to the Centre. "The Chief Minister has taken a serious view of the pollution as people in many mandals of Srikakulam district are facing health hazards due to contaminated drinking water. He has directed the APPCB officials to probe this and submit a report," sources said.

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