Fluoride gas of Hindalco plant destroys vast patches of paddy crop

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Sambalpur: The farmers of the villages nearby Hindalco Industries Ltd near Hirakud are hopeless as hundreds of acres of paddy crops have been destroyed by the fluoride gas emanating from the plant.

Talking to the media today, the desperate farmers of Gujatala, Nua Jamuda, Mohammadpur and Chamarapada villages said such incidents have taken place in last few years for which the plant authorities have been giving compensation to them.

“We have observed that paddy crops get severely damaged particularly after the rainfall. The plant authorities have been giving us compensation after assessing the extent of damage. But we want a permanent solution and if not, let the plant authorities purchase our land,” Bhairab Pradhan, a farmer said.

“Since 2002-03, we have been demanding the district administration for a permanent solution to this problem but to no avail. We have also asked the Hindalco authorities to provide us the compensation equal to the price of 30 bags of rice per acre. If the district administration fails to meet our demand, we will be forced to come to the street and the administration will be held responsible for the consequences”, Dilip Kumar Sahu, secretary, Jayadurga Anchalika Krushak Sangathan told media persons.

Asked about the matter, sub collector Trilochan Majhi said the district administration is aware of the incident. “The collector will convene a meeting very soon in which senior district officials and Hindalco authorities will be present. The meeting will discuss about a permanent solution to this problem,” he added.

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