Odishatv Bureau

Jharsuguda: Tension prevailed at Katikela village in Jharsuguda district after the ash pond wall of Vedanta aluminium plant in Odisha collapsed on Monday night, inundating around 100 acres of paddy fields.

As per reports, the ash pond no. 2 of the plant collapsed on Monday night at around 9 pm following which the villagers had to leave their homes out of fear. However, the liquid ash did not enter the village and got diverted to Bheden River.

Irate over the incident, the villagers locked the main gate of the plant and staged protest on Tuesday demanding compensation for crop loss and relocation to a safer area.

“We had a sleepless Monday night. We demand the administration and Vedanta authorities to take immediate steps towards relocating our village and announce compensation for the damage of crops soon,” said a villager.

“We are alive and that’s a big thing for us. We can’t live in the village any more in a constant fear of dying,” said another villager.

On the other hand, the Additional District Magistrate Sitaram Patel said a team comprising of the Tehsildar, officials of agriculture department and the State Pollution Control Board would conduct a joint probe and submit a damage assessment report in 10 to 15 days following which further action will be taken.

“We have sent a team to take stock of the situation but they could not reach the affected areas,” said the Chief of Electrical Department, Vedanta, Jayprakash Mohanty.