Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Mumbai/Bhubaneswar, Apr 24:
The Bhushan Steel company on Wednesday claimed to have received the official nod to run its new second blast furnace in Odisha.
In November last year, the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) had slapped a notice on the company to close down the blast furnace till further orders, after an explosion in the slag pit during the trial run of the blast furnace on November 10 that killed three persons and left at least 14 others injured severely.
However, Bhushan Steel, in its documents filed with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), has said the OSPCB which had directed the closure of a blast furnace at its Meramundali plant after an accident during trial run, has accorded green signal to start it.
“The company has now received all consents and approvals from the Odisha State Pollution Control Board for starting and operating the blast furnace No 2 installed at its steel plant”, the documents clearly stated.
“The company has started the process of operation of blast furnace No 2 and the production from the furnace is expected to start in few weeks,” said the document filed with the BSE.
Although it has not been possible to ascertain the veracity of such claims by Bhushan either from the state Labour department or the OSPCB authorities, the matter is bound to raise serious questions about the manner in which the statutory bodies in the state are functioning and rake up old allegations that the company has been enjoying political patronage and protection from the highest quarters ever since it set its foot in Odisha.