Pollution board slaps closure notice on Vedanta

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Jharsuguda: The Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) on Wednesday issued notice to Vedanta Aluminium Limited asking it to close down five units of the plant at Katikela.

The OSPCB move comes after a breach in Vedanta plant’s ash pond no-2 embankment near Katikela on August 28 that had led to inundation of ash in agricultural land at the village.

The company has been asked to shut two units at the Inspection Test Plan (ITP) and three units at the Captive Power Plant (CPP).

Besides, the pollution board had written to its regional office to ensure that the plant has complied with the directive. The board officials had made a spot visit on September 1.

Earlier, the pollution control watchdog had served a show cause notice to Vedanta over the collapse of the ash pond and asked it to submit an explanation why the approval granted in favour of the smelter plant and the captive power plant should not be revoked.

It is pertinent to note that an ash pond breach of nearly 800 metres led to inundation of the spill over a large part of agricultural land and nearby Bheden River, thus posing a threat to the environment.

The incident had led to a protest in the area and the affected villagers had demanded that the plant authorities must provide adequate compensation for crop loss and ash removal from the affected areas.

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