Jajpur: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has settled a case pertaining to alleged air and water pollution at Sukinda rail siding under East Coast Railway in Jajpur with five conditions. It has asked the State Pollution Control Board to check if these conditions are carried out and submit a report within two weeks.
The green court held a hearing on a petition (34/2020EZ), alleging that norms pertaining to air and pollution control guidelines were violated at the rail siding.
A division bench of the NGT comprising justice SP Wangdi and technical member Nagin Nanda held a hearing on the issue Tuesday.
However, complainant Sushant Das expressed his displeasure over settlement of the case with conditions. He warned of moving the Supreme Court.
Various industrial units of Kalinganagar Industrial Complex carry out loading and unloading of their minerals at Sukinda railway siding every day. They are supposed to ensure strict pollution control measures.
People living around the railway siding complained that they were suffocated by air and water pollution in the area due to the railway siding.
Complainant Sushant Das’s counsel Shankar Prasad Pani said even though pollution norms were being violated at the railway siding, the SPCB renewed the railway siding operation March 30.
No step has been taken to control pollution caused by mineral loading and unloading at the railway siding. Dumping of minerals in open spaces creates air pollution in the area.
Moreover, in the monsoon, rainwater carrying mineral dust flows into farmlands, it was alleged. Students of a nearby school are affected by pollution at the railway siding.
In view of pollution, the regional office of the SPCB (Kalinganagar) had issued a show cause notice to the authorities of the railway siding August 13, 2018.
Following the complaint, the NGT had held a hearing on the issue June 16, 2020. Thereafter, an investigating team of the NGT had visited the railway siding and had asked the SPCB to submit a report within three weeks.
As per the NGT direction, regional officer of the SPCB, Pramod Kumar Behara, Jajpur sub-collector Narayan Chandra Dhal, and scientist of the Central Pollution Control Board Sasmita Ekka had looked into alleged pollution July 13 and submitted a report to the NGT.
Based on the investigation report, the NGT had directed some anti-pollution measures – construction of wind screen wall on the boundary wall of the railway siding, roofing for gypsum transportation, creation of green belt inside and outside the railway siding and creation of special drains.
The SPCB regional officer said the case was settled on these conditions.
But the SPCB will submit a report within two months if these conditions have been put in place by the railway authorities.