It is official:No sympathy for Vedantas

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Bhubaneswar: The water resources department has finally broken its silence over the controversial issue of waiver of water tax to the tune of Rs nine crore pending against the Vedantas. The issue created a storm in the just concluded assembly session following the surfacing of the request letter written by the executive engineer of the Burla Main Dam Division to the additional secretary of the water resources department to waive Rs nine crore water tax standing against Vedant Alumina for drawing water from the Hirakud dam for its Jharsuguda plant.

Taking a strong stand, the water resources secretary, Suresh Mohapatra today said that there was no question of allowing the Rs nine crore water cess waiver to the multi-national company and the government would definitely collect the huge amount of tax from the company. Rebutting charges of undue sympathy for the company, Suresh Mohapatra said that the company would be asked to pay the dues the sooner possible.

It was alleged that the Vedantas had drawn water from the Hirakud dam for two months for its plant at Jharsuguda without valid permission from the water resources department. While the company should have been asked to pay six times higher dues for flouting rules, the executive engineer of the Burla Main Dam Division had requested the additional secretary of the water resources department to waive the tax to the tune of Rs. nine crore. After the official stand of the government it remains to be seen when the controversial company clears the Rs. nine crore dues towards water tax.

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