The state unit of BJP today lodged complain with Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) alleging violation of environment and mining laws by Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL), a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries. It also accused the company of providing wrong information about complying with the rules.
The charges were based on the report of a fact finding team sent by the party to the project area at Kashipur in Rayagada district. "On the request of local people we visited the area on December 23, 2014 and found that Utkal Alumina has not implemented the environmental guidelines as laid out by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF). Compliance status report submitted by the Utkal Alumina contradict the actual physical condition of the mining area", the party said in its letter to OSPCB.
The company, however, denied any charges. "We reject all the charges and want to say that so far as mining operation is concerned, our company adheres to all the rules and guidelines," said an official of the company. The state BJP unit said, its team found that the company has not installed facilities for treatment and disposal of mining discharge water and dust extraction system was also absent in the mining area. UAIL also did not adhere to plantation activity in the project site. After studying the actual condition on the ground and compliance report submitted by the company to OSPCB, the letter urged the pollution watchdog to constitute a special team to investigate the violations. Utkal Alumina refinery project in Rayagada district comprises 1.5 million tonne per annum (MTPA) alumina refinery.