Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vedanta steps in it again

Vedanta, the company who wants 6000 acres for a piddly university (my own institution University of Toronto's main campus is around 200 acres only with a student population of nearly 70,000) shows its real, irresponsible face again. This time- surprise, surprise - it is our Pollution Control Board- which has issued a show cause notice to Vedanta's massive aluminium smelter and power plant in Jharsuguda. I wonder how a company which can't manage its ESP and ETP can claim to propose to run a world class University. Or maybe it is too costly to even meet the paltry standards demanded by the Pollution Control Board.

Its also nice to see one newspaper and a reporter who is willing to report the reality about Vedanta. I hope this will continue.

The link for the news article is

Pollution Control Board slaps notice on VAL

The New Indian Express

First Published : 22 Jul 2009 03:30:00 AM IST

Last Updated : 22 Jul 2009 11:13:30 AM IST

SAMBALPUR: Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Jharsuguda, has been issued with show-cause notice by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) for violating various sections of water and air pollution Acts. The notice has been issued to CEO and whole-time Director of VAL M Siddiqi after VAL failed to rectify anomalies regarding pollution as pointed out by the Regional Officer of SPCB Sitikanta Sahu during his visit to the plant in April. VAL had promised time-bound compliance against each issue by June 30. But during inspection on June 12, substantial emission was observed in Captive Power Plant (CPP) stack.

It was also found that rectification of ESP system toreduce emission levels had not been undertaken nor land for construction of permanent ash pond acquired. Moreover, conventional method of transportation of ash slurry was being followed and a breach in the dyke of ash pond had occurred posing serious threat to both the ash pond and the nearby Kharkhari nullah.

It was also found that Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) of the smelter plant was not commissioned and effluent was released into Kharkhari nullah without any treatment to contain fluoride which was in excess of the prescribed limit. Environmentally sound practice was not followed towards handling and management of fluoride contaminated hazardous waste materials posing threat to surface run-off contamination during monsoon.

Several lapses like bad house-keeping in Coal Handling Plant (CHP) area, absence of proper handling system for bottom ash, existence of bypass water pipeline near recirculation of cooling water of a cast house, non- existence of garland drains in carbon area, no plantation alongside the plant boundary in carbon area, tardy progress towards construction of secured land-fill site, continuance of ash dumping at the bank of Kharkhari Nullah and non-installation of sewage treatment plant for treatment of domestic waste were also observed contributing to the problems of pollution.

The same problems existed when the SPCB officer visited the plant again in the first week of July. Maintaining that VAL has grossly failed to implement the action plan submitted by it to contain pollution, the SPCB has sought a reply in the stipulated period and if not found satisfactory action under appropriate provisions of Water (PCP) Act and Air (PCP) Act will be initiated. VAL has also been offered personal hearing on July 23.

1 comment:

Rajiv Sahoo said...

Vedanta has the highest respect for human rights. Vedanta’s CSR team along with number of NGOs are working in these villages for upbringing their livelihood, nutrition and education for their children, health benefits, agriculture development, infrastructure development, women empowerment through forming of self-help groups and training of rural youth in vocational subjects, to name a few. Vedanta is attached with over 2.5 million people in more than 425 villages in India through its corporate social responsibility initiatives.

It is also worth noting that very shortly that community initiatives currently under development will touch the lives of another 1.6 million under-privileged children through nutrition and computer education programs. In the last four years Vedanta has spent about Rs. 200 crore on social development activities and is targeting the expenditure of a further 100 crore this year. This does not include large scale projects like ‘Vedanta Hindustan Zinc Heart Hospital’ in Udaipur in the State of Rajasthan and an up-coming 'Vedanta Cancer Hospital and Research Centre' in Raipur, in the State of Chattisgarh.