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Concerned over Brahmani pollution, NHRC seeks ATR within 8 weeks

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OST Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 31:

Taking a serious note of the rising pollution levels in river Brahmani at Jajpur, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought an action taken report (ATR) from the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) within eight weeks.
The OSPCB, in its report to the NHRC, had earlier revealed that Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and Cyanide at river Brahmani in Jajpur district is higher than the prescribed limit.
Rights activist Akhand had alleged in a petition before the NHRC that large scale pollution in Brahmani River affected villagers residing on its banks in Jajpur district and their lives had turned miserable due to diseases caused by pollution.
Akhand had drawn the attention of the Commission towards the drastic reduction in agricultural production due to river Brahmani’s rising pollution levels affecting the livelihood of the villagers.
The complainant had requested remedial action in the matter and penal action against the erring companies.
Pursuant to the directions of the Commission, the SPCB submitted its report to the NHRC.
The OSPCB, during an inspection, found that out of nine industrial units in and around Kalinga Nagar Industrial area, two major companies were discharging waste water into Brahmani. The two companies are Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited and VISA Steel Limited. While effluent from VISA Steel is discharged through Alliah nallah to Ganda nallah, effluent from Neelachal Ispat is discharged to Andhari nallah which ultimately joins Ganda nallah before falling into Brahmani.
The analysis report by the OSPCB revealed that the parameters with respect to TSS and Cyanide at the confluence point of Satabansia nallah and Ganda nallah are higher than the prescribed standards.
Following its inspection OSPCB has made various recommendations to these companies to follow but these are not being worked out, lamented Akhand.
The NHRC has directed the Chairman, OSPCB to inform within eight weeks what action has been taken by the Board against these industries.