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NGT Pulls Up Odisha Pollution Board Officials for Going Soft on Polluting Visa Steel

Steel News - Published on Mon, 19 Aug 2019

Image Source: ET
Economic Times reported that the National Green Tribunal has pulled up Odisha State Pollution Control Board for failing to act on a complaint that steelmaker Visa Steel is discharging untreated effluents into a stream, after asking OSPCB to submit a report on the matter within two months in April. NGT said in an order “The pollution board failed to exercise its statutory responsibilities as a regulator. Board’s erring officials could face a fine and disciplinary action if they don’t act against the company. Visa Steel’s plant in Kalinganagar Odisha could face action including temporary closure, criminal prosecution or compensation for environmental damage.”

The NGT order dated August 9 said that “Two months’ period expired on 10 June 2019, but no report was filed. Today, Papiya Banerjee Bihani, learned advocate for OSPCB appears and prays for a short time to file the report. This, in our view, reflects the apathy and dereliction on the part of the state PCB in taking prompt measures when serious concerns have been raised in the application.”

The order notes that the OSPCB, in its inspection report dated July 24, 2018, had found that not only was effluent being released outside (through a culvert at the back of the company guesthouse), but its analysis showed traces of Cr+6, cyanide and phenol. The report also found that Visa Steel had failed to apply dust suppression measures and its systems to measure ambient air quality were defunct.

The steelmaker had been accused of dumping untreated effluents into a stream behind its plant by a local environment group, Kalinganagar Paribesh Surakhya Samiti. In April, the NGT had asked OSPCB to submit a report on the matter within two months.

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Posted By : Sanju Moirangthem on Mon, 19 Aug 2019
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