Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) officials who had come for sealing some illegally functioning units of the Bhushan Steel Limited here Thursday had a real feel of the level of air pollution in and around the factory as they found it difficult to breathe.
The officials entrusted with the sealing of three units of the Bhushan steel plant were seen covering their noses with handkerchiefs to avoid inhaling the dense smog created by coal dust, smoke and dust as they traversed the 3-km distance between the main gate and the illegally run units.
The officials found not a single tree been planted inside the plant premises despite the company signing an agreement to plant trees in 10 percent of the total land under the project.
Apprehending visits by government higher ups in the present circumstances, plant authorities have brought in a few saplings and are spraying water to get the coal dust and other particulate matter settle, said some employees of the factory on condition of anonymity.
While around 10,000 workers are daily exposed to the thick smog of coal dust and other particles, the babus of Bhushan travel in their air conditioned cars from and to their homes.
Despite several workers lodging complaints with the OSPCB regarding air pollution within the factory premises, which have caused several diseases, the Board has taken no action against the company.