While the Talcher, Angul and Ib valley areas have been declared as “critically polluted”, Paradip has been categorised as “severely polluted”, according to senior officials.
These areas in Odisha have been identified as severely and critically polluted regions on the basis of the Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
According to sources in the State Department of Forest and Environment, the port city of Paradip has been categorised as severely polluted primarily due to the activities of various polluting industries.
The authorities have cautioned several times these entities to keep the port city pollution-free. Even, the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) has filed cases in the Jagatsinghpur SDJM Court against the Paradeep Phosphates limited for not adhering to the norms set for pollution control.
Similarly, the authorities have raised fingers at as many as 25 industrial units in the Ib valley in Jharsuguda, Talcher and Angul regions.
Five mines under the Mahanadi Coalfields ltd (MCl), Samaleswari, Kulda, Vasundhara, lajkura and Belpahal, have been identified as the major sources of pollution in the Ib valley, said sources in the SPCB. In the Angul-Talcher region, pollution is caused primarily due to Bhusan Energy, Nalco Smelter, Bhusan Steel along with the MCl’s Bharatpur and Bhubaneswari mines.
SPCB sources said Aditya Alumina, Action Steel and Power, MSP Metallic, lN Metallic, Aryan Steel and Power, Sri Mahdev Steel, Shyam Metalics and Power and Agarwal Cement are the major sources of environment pollution in the Jharsuguda region.
This apart, the entire region comprising of Dhenkanal, Talcher, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh and Rourkela has been converted into a severely hot zone. The smoke, ash and other chemicals released from the mushrooming power plants, steel and aluminum units in this region keep polluting water, air and soil in the vicinity.
It has become a big challenge for the SPCB and the Government to keep this area free from pollution.
As more mines are going to be operational in this region and more thermal power plants are going to be established in the vicinity, the challenge would be still stiffer for the SPCB and the Government, said official sources.