JHARSUGUDA: Budhipathar-based MSP Metallics is in the eye of the storm for alleged violation of pollution norms by its integrated steel plant here.
Locals alleged that the company has been resorting to unscientific disposal of hazardous waste, coal, iron dust and chemicals. The garbage that is allegedly being dumped by the company in the area, has been polluting water bodies and agricultural lands. The problem is acute during monsoon as rain water carries along with it the hazardous waste and flows into water bodies and crops lands. This year, crops in over 100 acres of land have been damaged so far, villagers claimed.
There are three schools within 150 metres radius of the steel plant. A teacher, requesting anonymity, said during class hours, they are forced to close the doors and windows of the classrooms as the children feel suffocated due to the polluted air. “The plant releases black smoke which contain suspended particles,” she said.
Villagers, Mattu Sahu and Sanischar Khadia, said they have been living in pathetic condition. “Early in the morning, the entire village can be seen covered with a thick layer of black dust,” says Prafulla Pradhan of Budhipathar.
Following several complaints, Regional Officer of Odisha State Pollution Control Board, Mukesh Mahaling, recently visited the plant site and directed its management to level waste dumps on the premises with soil topping. He also asked the management not to dump solid waste without treatment and prevent air, water and soil pollution.