Hundreds of farmers on Monday gheraoed the regional office of Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) demanding an explanation on the decision to keep in abeyance the closure notice issued to Hindalco Industries Limited (HIL) following two successive a s h pond breaches.
After waiting in vain for an hour for the officials, who managed to escape, the agitators forced the clerks to phone the Member-Secretary of OSPCB and held discussions with him.
Farmers leader Ashok Pradhan said OSPCB has failed miserably to take to task the polluting industries.
Member-Secretary Sidhant Das has reportedly sought a fortnight’s time and assured the farmers of action.
Later the farmers went to the collectorate and waited for three hours for Additional District Magistrate MC Bariha, officiating as district collector.
They wanted Sambalpur distributary canal be cleared of fly ash deposits and lamented that HIL was yet to initiate corrective steps.