NGT serves notices to Vedanta, 4 others for ash pond breach

New Delhi: Taking cognizance of large-scale damage and pollution caused by the breach in Vedanta’s ash pond in Jharsuguda, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday served notices to company along with the Central government, Odisha government, Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Board.

During the hearing of the case, the NGT directed all the five parties to file their responses by January 2, 2019 while the final hearing has been scheduled for January 9.

It is pertinent to mention here that nearly 40 lakh MT of ash slurry had led to severe pollution in Bheden River and also damaged crops in 115 acre land after the compound wall of Vedanta’s ash pond collapsed at Katikela village in Jharsuguda district in August 2017.

Following the incident, irate villagers had locked the main gate of the plant and staged protests demanding compensation for crop loss and relocation to a safer area.

Later in September last year, the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) had ordered closure of five power units of Vedanta’s smelter following the major breach in the company’s ash pond dyke.