Environment, Home, Investigation Report

Bargarh Cement Works polluting the area

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Bargarh Cement Works is polluting the premises as well as the nearby area complaining the locals. The Bargarh Cement Works managed by ACC is breaking agreement from time to time. In the night time they are closing the electrostatic precipitator which controlled the air pollution, and directly leaving the air to the atmosphere.

Recently Khaliapali villagers gheraoed the factory authority regarding this.  The factory authority promised the villager through the Sarpanch in written that the mistake will not be repeated. The Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) also has similar complaint regarding the factory authority. OSPCB has issued a show-cause notice to the factory authority vide letter no 8493 on Dated 21 May 2016. And OSPCB has asked to reply within 10 days.  In the letter it is mentioned that ACC Cement has been allowed to produce 30 Megawat thermal electricity, 2.5 MTPA cement production, and to establish 100 TPCH coal washery. All these agreement are expiring on 31st March 2017.  According to the direction no 1175 issued by OSPCB on Dated 19/1/2007 the power plant of the cement factory can use coal as fuel only. But the factory authority has mentioned in letter no ACC/BCW/ENV/558 Dated 31/3/2016 that pet coke is used as fuel in the power plant of Bargarh Cement Works. The OSPCB has issued show-cause notice as the factory authority has not taken any prior permission to use pet coke as fuel instead of coal. The OPSCB may take action if the factory authority will not provide any satisfactory reply within 10 days.

Generally pet coke is used as the alternate fuel of coal in cement and different power plants.  Pet coke is cheaper than coal but there is high risk of creating pollution in the local environment of the factory.

The delegation of OPSCB is regularly inspecting the factory. But they haven’t noticed and report about the use of pet coke instead of coal in the power plant. Further, the MCL provides a quota of coal to the plant. If the Bargarh Cement Works power plant is using pet coke and not using coal then where is the quota amount of coal provided by MCL?

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