The National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) has directed to State Pollution control board to take appropriate action on crops damaged by Hindalco Industries Limited in Odisha. Acting on a complaint of rights activist Akhand of India Media Centre, the commission ordered an action within eight weeks.
According to the petitioner, every year Standing crops in thousands acres in the peripheral villages of Hindalco Industries Limited at Hirakud of Sambalpur District were damaged due to fluoride emission from the plant. It has been recently confirmed by State Pollution Control Board (SPCB).
Analysis of foliage and water samples collected from farmland revealed that there was impact of hydrogen fluoride gas on the crops.
After testing samples of the crop and water from the fields, fluoride limit was found to be more than the permissible limit of 80 PPM (part per million).
Leaves of the standing crop had turned yellow due to toxic emission from the HIL plant. Recently complaint of crop damage due to toxic emission by HIL has been made by farmers. They alleged that standing crop in 200 acres was damaged in Gujatal, Nua Jamda, Gundrupada, Chamarpada, Mohammedpur and Dengimocha villages after heavy rain for two days on October 12 and 13. Sources said the impact of the toxic emission from the HIL was so high that it led to yellowing of leaves due to chlorophyll reduction (chlorosis) and killing of leaf cells (necrosis) in paddy crop besides leaves of other trees, said Akhand.
Neither company nor the Government is taking measures to check the emission. So, Hundreds of Farmers are losing their crops every year that endangers their livelihood. Affected Farmers have not get any compensation towards their loss of crops, alleged Akhand.
Considering the grievance, the commission has directed chairman of State Pollution Control Board to take appropriate action within eight weeks and to inform the complainant of the action taken in the matter.
Report by Odisha Diary bureau Bhubaneswar