Singrauli district collector KVS Chaudhary has asked Essar Power MP Ltd (EPMPL) to pay Rs 50 lakh compensation to farmers whose crops were allegedly damaged by fly-ash leaked from the company’s Mahan Power Plant last week, the district administration officials said on Monday.
On August 7, cracks developed in a fly-ash dyke of the 1,200 MW coal-based thermal power plant near village Bandhaura. The fly-ash leaked from the dyke reportedly turned into mudslide and affected nearby villages. Five children trapped in it were rescued by the district administration, the police had claimed.
There are as many as 10 thermal power plants having a combined capacity of 21,000 MW in Singrauli that abuts Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh.
The region is considered the second most polluted industrial zone in India after Ghaziabad, according to pollution watchdog, the Central Pollution Control Board.
Chaudhary said, “As many as 198 acres of crops of 450 farmers have been damaged. I have written to Essar to immediately deposit Rs 50 lakh as compensation for the same. Essar has been instructed to repair the broken dyke and strengthening of another dyke which has cracks in it. The work is going on.
The collector said the overall environment damage assessment is being done by a team of officials from CPCB and MP Pollution Control Board.
On the power company’s allegations that it was a work of sabotage, Chaudhary said, “A three-member committee consisting of a sub-divisional magistrate, a sub-divisional officer of police and an executive engineer of Water Resources Department is looking into the reasons behind the incident.”
An official statement from the company said, “Keeping with Essar Group’s business values and its unwavering commitment towards environmental protection and human rights, EPMPL has agreed to pay Rs 50 lakh as compensation to the affected villagers as finalized by the district authorities evaluating the impact.”
“The amount shall be paid to the collector’s office who will in turn distribute the same to the impacted villagers,” it said.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court lawyer Ashwani Kumar Dubey alleged the compensation announced was just one tenth of what should be given to villagers
he company claimed that it has started repairing the fly-ash dyke, claiming it was working in “hostile circumstances” as the area is infested with miscreants and saboteurs.
The company claimed that it has started repairing the fly-ash dyke, claiming it was working in “hostile circumstances” as the area is infested with miscreants and saboteurs.
“We have pleaded with the authorities for support for completion of all the repairs at the earliest, while keeping the miscreants and saboteurs at bay,” the company statement read.News Source: Hindustan times