Fearing serious contamination of underground water by the release of ash slurry into coalmines in Talcher, hundreds of locals on Thursday took to streets at Talcher.
Led by former Zila Parishad member Raj Kishore Sahu, many sarpanches, zilla parishad members and samiti members of the region joined the protest rally. They submitted a memorandum to the sub collector demanding immediate stoppage of the slurry release by power plants and no further allotment of any mine to any other power plant unless a high powered scientific team studies the impact.
Currently Talcher thermal power station is using a void coal mine at Talcher to dump its ash slurry while NTPC Kaniha is trying to get another mine for that purpose. Some private power plants are also in the line to get allocated void mines to release slurry, according to Sahu.
He said citing the findings of scientific team that the slurry which is dumped into mine contaminates underground water.
“This is a very serious issue as it relates to the lives of the local population who use underground water in their well and bore wells extensively in the coal mining areas. We have given a memorandum to Talcher sub collector today demanding stoppage of the use of void coalmine without a high level impact study. Otherwise we will resort to agitation,” said Sahu.
Talcher sub collector SM Mishra admitted he had received the memorandum. “We have sent it to concerned industries for their comment and after that we will take necessary steps,” Mishra said.
Unfortunately the state pollution control department is mum over the issue despite cry of water pollution. Repeated calls to the Regional officer of regional pollution control board here for his comment yielded no response.