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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Jharsuguda: Tension prevailed in Jharsuguda on Tuesday after residents from Katikela village staged a dharna in front of the main gate of the Vedanta Plant demanding compensation for the alleged breach of the ash pond.

The villagers alleged that tonnes of ash slurry flow into Bheden river and the nearby paddy fields. The breach is also causing damages to their houses. They alleged that the ash mud is a major pollutant and is damaging the surrounding areas and destroying the eco system of the river.

They demanded monetary compensation, permanent employment to the youth in the village and resettlement at a suitable location, elsewhere.

“The ash pond breach that occurred on August 28 damaged a number of houses in the village. Due to the company’s negligence and lackadaisical attitude we are facing a lot of problems like pollution, crop loss and damage to our shelter. Our life and livelihood are at stake,” claimed a protestor.

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“We have conveyed our problems to the company authorities several times, but those fell in deaf ears. This time we are determined to sit on dharna until our demands are fulfilled,” he added.

Another protester alleged that neither the company nor the district administration is sensitive about the plight of the villagers.

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