MAC: Mines and Communities

India: Pollution Control Board slaps notice on VAL

Published by MAC on 2009-08-03
Source: The New Indian Express

SAMBALPUR: Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Jharsuguda, has been issued with show-cause notice by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) for violating various sections of water and air pollution Acts. The notice has been issued to CEO and whole-time Director of VAL M Siddiqi after VAL failed to rectify anomalies regarding pollution as pointed out by the Regional Officer of SPCB Sitikanta Sahu during his visit to the plant in April. VAL had promised time-bound compliance against each issue by June 30. But during inspection on June 12, substantial emission was observed in Captive Power Plant (CPP) stack.

It was also found that rectification of ESP system to reduce emission levels had not been undertaken nor land for construction of permanent ash pond acquired. Moreover, conventional method of transportation of ash slurry was being followed and a breach in the dyke of ash pond had occurred posing serious threat to both the ash pond and the nearby Kharkhari nullah.

It was also found that Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) of the smelter plant was not commissioned and effluent was released into Kharkhari nullah without any treatment to contain fluoride which was in excess of the prescribed limit. Environmentally sound practice was not followed towards handling and management of fluoride contaminated hazardous waste materials posing threat to surface run-off contamination during monsoon.

Several lapses like bad house-keeping in Coal Handling Plant (CHP) area, absence of proper handling system for bottom ash, existence of bypass water pipeline near recirculation of cooling water of a cast house, non- existence of garland drains in carbon area, no plantation alongside the plant boundary in carbon area, tardy progress towards construction of secured land-fill site, continuance of ash dumping at the bank of Kharkhari Nullah and non-installation of sewage treatment plant for treatment of domestic waste were also observed contributing to the problems of pollution.

The same problems existed when the SPCB officer visited the plant again in the first week of July. Maintaining that VAL has grossly failed to implement the action plan submitted by it to contain pollution, the SPCB has sought a reply in the stipulated period and if not found satisfactory action under appropriate provisions of Water (PCP) Act and Air (PCP) Act will be initiated. VAL has also been offered personal hearing on July 23.


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