JEYPORE: Discharge of effluents from the Omfed’s milk processing plant at Umuri in Jeypore block has led to air and water pollution in the villages on its periphery.
The Omfed plant, set up about 10 years back, caters to the needs of over 50,000 families of Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada districts.
The plant processes about 20,000 litres of milk everyday and nearly 10,000 litres of waste is released into the soak pits dug up for the purpose. The soak pits often overflow and water accumulates near the villages located on the periphery of the plant.
The foul smell emanating from the stagnant water has virtually made the lives of residents of 13 small villages miserable.
The waste being dumped near the villages has also led to air pollution and breathing problems particularly among the people of Bankabija, Ekamaba, Mangariaguda and Badakudi villages. The villagers also fear contamination of ground water, if early measures are not taken to clear the stagnant water.
Moreover, though the plant located near Umuri railway station needs urgent upgradation, the authorities concerned are yet to take steps in this regard. Protesting apathy of the local administration and Omfed authorities, the locals had recently submitted a memorandum to Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) demanding an inquiry into the issue.
Umuri plant manager, Omfed, RK Panda clarified that the authorities have been doing their best to treat waste with available technology and release it through proper cleaning channels.
There is also a proposal to streamline the effluent treatment system further, he added.
Panda admitted that the villagers had complained about pollution and measures are being taken to check it with the available funds.