A three-member team of Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) visited Hindalco Industries Limited (HIL) at Hirakud here to find out a permanent solution to recurring emission of fluoride gas from the plant damaging crops in the peripheral villages of HIL on Tuesday.
The team led by OSPCB Environmental Engineer Dilip Das checked the polluting sources of the plant and took measurement of the machineries installed at the sources.
Das said the Regional Officer of OSPCB, Sambalpur has already submitted a report confirming damage to the paddy crops in the villages due to fluoride emission from the plant. They will analyse the findings after which the industry will be advised to take corrective steps to regulate the emission of fluoride, he added.
Though the farmers having crop land in the periphery of the plant have suffered crop loss due to toxic emission from the HIL plant several times, it is for the first time that a team from OSPCB visited to find a permanent solution.
According to reports, after continuous rain induced by Phailin on October 12 and 13, standing crops in 200 acres in Gujatal, Nua Jamda, Gundrupada, Chamarpada, Mohammedpur and Dengimocha villages were damaged. Subsequently, Regional Officer of OSPCB here Hemendra Nath Nayak collected foliage and water samples on October 17.
After test, impact of hydrogen fluoride gas was found in the water.
The test also revealed that the samples had fluoride content in excess of maximum permissible limit of 80 PPM.
Even the agriculture official who accompanied him confirmed that the damage to the standing paddy crops besides yellowing of leaves of other trees were caused by toxic emission.
A report in this regard was submitted by Nayak to OSPCB besides Sambalpur Collector Balwant Singh.