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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Several acres of farmlands at Banjhiberana area were submerged in contaminated water laced with iron ore particles following the collapse of the portion of a boundary wall of JSW Bhushan Power and Steel Limited at Thelkoloi in Sambalpur on Friday.

A poultry farm in the area and some vehicles of the plant have also been submerged in the mishap. However, the reason behind the collapse is yet to be known.

“Our crops have been fully damaged as the farmlands are inundated with contaminated water. We are helpless now,” said a villager.

As per the latest reports, the company workers are trying to stop the flow of the contaminated water by repairing the collapsed wall. They are also clearing the mud accumulated in the area by using JCBs.

“We will assess the damages caused due to the collapse of the wall after holding discussions with the villagers. Those who have suffered losses will be provided adequate monetary compensation,” said a company official.

Meanwhile, Rengali Tehsildar Damayanti Sahoo rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. She also discussed with the farmers about the crop loss.

Notably, Irked over fly-ash pollution from the plant, residents of the area had staged a protest and closed the plant’s main gate in October, 2021.
 

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