Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 28:
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Odisha government, the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for a joint inspection of the pollution level in the drinking water in Keonjhar district.
A single bench of Justice P Jyothimani of the Tribunal, while hearing a petition filed by Rahul Kumar Agrawal, directed the state government to file the analysis report and specify the reasons for the pollution.
“The report must state whether the drinking water in the area is polluted or depleted and mention the place where clean drinking water is available for consumption,” the bench ordered.
Besides, it also asked them to take samples of water from the Baitarni river and file an analysis report and mention the likely cause of pollution of the river water.
The bench fixed the next date of hearing on December 5.
The petitioner had alleged that the ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) had granted environmental clearance to the Serajuddin and Company, Rungta Mines Ltd, Essel Mining and Industries Ltd, Tata Steel Ltd and Triveni Earthmovers Pvt Ltd for mining of iron ore in contravention of the various acts and laws related to environment and wildlife for expansion of iron ore mining, and sought constitution of a committee of independent experts to assess the situation and suggest remedial measures.
“Due to excessive extraction and illegal mining, the ecosystem and the wildlife of the area are badly affected while many serious diseases are found in the area due to the high pollution level,” the petitioner had stated.