Nalco ash pond breach polluting nearby water bodies

Angul: A breach in the ash pond of National Aluminium Company (Nalco) plant in Angul has exposed the nearby Nandira River water to the harmful pollutants with the leaking ash-laden water from the pond getting drained into it.

Citing that such incidents are recurring, the locals have accused the Nalco authorities of being callous and negligent towards the problem which is posing a threat to the nearby environment.

According to sources, the ash pond of Nalco’s smelter plant suffered a breach following which the waste water is now flowing directly into the Nandira River rendering its water unusable.

“The Nalco officials said that they will take steps but haven’t done so yet. The wells and the nearby environment are getting polluted by such breaches,” said Sanjukta Tripathy, a resident of nearby Kukutanga.

“In my opinion this is an attempt by the company to kill us. I will request the district and the police administration to file a case against them and arrest the CMD,” said a Nalco area resident Somnath Sahu.

No comments could be obtained from the Nalco authorities on the matter. On the other hand the district administration said that the company has been directed to repair the pond immediately.

“If there is crack then immediate steps should be taken to repair it. We are in discussions with the Nalco authorities and have asked them to send their people to check the pond,” said Angul Collector, Srinivas Behera.

Earlier, acres of cultivated land were destroyed in a breach in 2000. The pond also suffered breaches in 2011, 2012 and 2016.