Jajpur: Even as the state government has announced stringent measures to check industrial pollution, it continues unabated in the district much to the chagrin of residents, a report said.
The state government announced it will hold the revenue divisional commissioner responsible for any aberration on pollution control, the report said.
Two hard coke plants — Pure Hard Coke Pvt Ltd and Krishna Hard Coke — operate in the district by encroaching on 50 acres of government land in Anjira mouza under Dharmasala tehsil.
They don’t have consent of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB). Locals alleged the SPCB is not ignorant of the development, but has chosen to remain silent on the issue.
The functioning of the two plants without adhering to pollution control norms has led to air and water pollution in the area. Black fumes could always be seen emanating from the chimneys of these plants polluting the surrounding areas.
The fumes choke the residents of adjoining Bali Sahi, Bhejigotha, Shaymsundarpur, Godipatia, Mukundpur, Muraripur, Alasaganda, Burusahi, Anjira and Gambharia villages.
Students are worst affected by pollution as Anjira residential school, a primary and high school at Balisahi and a government health centre are situated close by.
These plants have not created a green cover around their premises as per SPCB norms. Black dust particles emanating from these plants have enveloped the area. Black dense fog covers the area from morning till late in the day.
A thick layer of black dust could be seen settled on houses, trees, leaves, land and water bodies. The black dust could also be seen on the clothes of people while water in the wells and nearby water bodies has become unfit for consumption, locals alleged.
The pasture land can also be found covered with black ash for which domestic animals often fall ill. The pollution has triggered an unprecedented situation in the area.
However, the SPCB authorities remaining silent on the issue instead of taking action against the two firms have surprised many.
Sources said, the Pure Hard Coke plant has been operating in the area by encroaching on 25 acres of government land in Anzira mouza on plot no6368/6344/6336/6316/6345/633/6317 of Sabak khata no-416 and Hal khata no-1728.
Locals alleged the law enforcement agencies fear to take action against the plant as its owner who is from outside the state runs the plant with the help of influential political persons.
Reports said, Anjira hill has several black stone quarries and the district and SPCB officials often visit the hill to check illegalities.
However, none of them has thought to pay a visit to the two plants and review their functioning. Similarly, another hard coke plant namely Krishna Hard coke is operating by encroaching upon over 20 acres of government land.
Villagers alleged no public hearing has been held prior to the establishment of these plants. Moreover, they have not received any consent to operate.
Residents demanded the authorities take immediate action against the illegalities failing which they will resort to agitation.
When contacted, Pramod Kumar Behera, regional officer of SPCB at Kalinganagar said action will be taken against the two hard coke plants if any complaint is lodged against them.