Vedanta grabs 246 acre of forest land for Jharsuguda power plant

Jharsuguda: Sesa Sterlite, a Vedanta group company, is allegedly to have encroached upon 246.74 acre of forest land and constructed an ash pond with concrete boundary on the sprawling rural forest land for its 1,215-MW power plant at Bhurkamunda in the district.

Though the then divisional forest officer (DFO) had apprised the district collector of the matter in May last year recommending strong action, the district administration has done precious little in this regard so far.

In his letter to the collector and the local tehsildar, the DFO had suggested strong action to be taken against the erring industry stating that such encroachment is violative of Forest Conservation Act, 1980.

However, the concerned tehsildar conducted a field survey on only 108.29 acre of the encroached land and issued notice to the company authorities on that basis, sources said.

Earlier in January last year, the DFO had also written to the company vice-president stating that it has encroached upon 246.74 acre of forest land under Khata No.108 in Bhurkamunda Mouja of the district and the company should vacate the land forthwith as it violates the Act.