Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding pollution by Jai Hanuman Udyog, Jharsuguda, Odisha, 26/05/2020

  • 26/05/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Bijay Mishra Vs Sumitra Kumar Shah & Others dated 26/05/2020.

The matter related to disposal of coal ash into the ash pond by an industrial unit – M/s. Jai Hanuman Udyog Ltd., Jharsuguda, Odisha engaged in manufacture of pig iron, sponge iron, basic steel and iron for which the essential fuel used was coal.

The complainant, Bijay Mishra said that even though the land on which the ash pond was located was owned by the industry, the distance of the ash pond from the village was just about 300-400 meters. It was further alleged that the coal ash from the ash pond had been contaminating ground water. One of the pollutants contaminating the soil and the ground water was found to be arsenic, quantity of which was stated to be increasing every year. Ash dust discharged from the unit and its surrounding had been polluting the air and would also settle on the plants and leaves of the trees damaging the vegetation of the area.

It was pointed out that white ash dust was also found settled on the houses of the villagers, their clothes, trees, fruits, crops, water and even in their food which has resulted in the villagers suffering from serious respiratory and other illness. The cause of air being polluted by the emission from the industrial unit was the failure on the part of the industry to install advanced technology for filtration and suppression of dust, the tribunal was told.

That apart, it was contended that the industry had also failed to establish adequate green belt around the plant site as required under the guidelines prescribed by the Central Pollution Control Board and there was online monitoring system installed by the industry for regulating discharge of effluent and air pollutants. There was also failure on the part of the industry to comply with the directions of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for fly ash utilization.

The NGT directed the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) and the District Collector, Jharsuguda to jointly inspect the industry in question, verify on the factual aspects raised in the application. In the event the allegations are found to be correct, the OSPCB should take appropriate action in accordance with law. A joint compliance report filed has to filed within a month.