The ash pond of National Aluminium Company (Nalco) here developed cracks this morning, resulting in leakage of water from the pond to the nearby Nadira rivulet which falls into the Brahmani river.
The ash pond slippage sparked panic among the locals of Kukudanga village who trooped to the pond area and protested. Accusing Nalco of not finding a permanent solution to the problem, the locals demanded an enquiry into the incident.
The Angul sub-collector Sudarshan Parida and officials of the State Pollution Control Board rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.
“There was a 20-metre subsidence on the embankment of the ash pond and the repairs were taken up by Nalco immediately which stopped leakages. There should not be any fear at all due to this mishap”, said Parida.
Nalco authorities swung into action and arrested the leakages within three hours.
"It was a small incident and immediately controlled. There is nothing to panic”, said a Nalco official.
Nalco's captive power plant here has two ash ponds. In the second ash pond, there was a depression on the dyke, causing cracks and holes and leakage of ash water at about 7 am in the morning.
"The seepage of ash water was very minimal which was brought under control in less than two hours. The periphery road provided by the company around the pond for surveillance was slightly damaged due to the leakage and it was repaired by noon hours. From the above reported seepage, there has been no pollution to the nearby villages or agricultural lands or water bodies”, said a Nalco release.