The industrial hub – Jharsuguda is fast becoming the most polluted garbage town of Odisha with a certain amount of discernible helplessness among people over the enormous clout and political patronage enjoyed by the industrial houses.
Very few dare to raise a voice or draw attention of concerned authorities as they ‘know’ it is futile. The talk of the town is the ‘politician’ who enjoys the corporate blessings has been successful in crushing dissenting voices and gaining them over.
During monsoon the situation worsens with the industrial waste and particularly Ash flowing to rivers and drains. Rivers like IB, Veden, and the natural water resources along with all small water body are badly affected by the slush.
Jharsuguda citizen forum secretary Dandapani Parta alleged that industrial houses are dumping Fly Ash over the years without any check by concerned authorities . The ash loaded vehicles moving from industries to the town area and dumps are there for all to see and how they cause air and water pollution is known.
Air ash spreads as air cyclone and which causes a layer of ash in every inhabitants house & water body.
Industries have ash ponds, many of which are full and due to scarcity of land for more such ponds, they dump it in nearby areas. It may be recalled that in 2017 one such ash pond had breached and flow was to the Veden river.
The State Pollution Control Board issued directions to clean the affected river water but it is alleged that this was not done. Reliable sources speaking on conditions of anonymity said even Hirakud was affected. Who will speak out, all are afraid or gained over, remarked the source.
Villagers say the ash water has adversely hit their crop yield. Prajwal Patel , a villager, pointed out that goons and influential people control everything here.
The Regional Officer of the pollution control board, Niranjan Mallik said companies have sought and obtained permission to dump ask in low land areas and people are also applying to fill their low land with such ash. After due verification we have given permission for this.