The SDJM, Dhenkanal, takes cognizance of the matter and summons BSL authorities for hearing

Odisha State Pollution Control Board on Thursday filed criminal cases with Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Dhenkanal, against Bhushan Steel Limited for violation of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 in its integrated steel plant.

The SDJM, Dhenkanal, has taken cognizance of the matter and summoned BSL authorities for hearing on February 2 next.

The board has made Bhushan Steel Limited (BSL), its executive vice-president Rahul Sengupta, Chief Operating Officer Atulya Kumar Verma and Senior General Manager Ram Manhor Sharma parties in the criminal proceeding for violation of both Air Act and Water act.

“The board has given BSL the consent to establish for expansion of integrated steel plant from 3.1 million tonne per annum capacity to 5.6 mtpa. As per the Act, the company should have informed the board three months before starting full-fledged operation. However, the company started operating without informing the board,” said S. K. Mishra, an advocate representing the OSPCB. The BSL had obtained consent to establish on December 14, 2012. Besides, OSPCB sources said the board is supposed to be informed in the event of accidents on industrial premises which was also given a miss by the company.

Violation

In another clear violation of pollution norms, the BSL authorities had allegedly set up a 256-MW thermal power plant without OSPCB’s permission.

Mr. Mishra said the board had rejected BSL’s application for consent to establish a power plant inside the existing plant boundary on May 6, 2013. However, the company went ahead with construction. The OSPCB’s regional officer, Angul on inspection on November 14, 2013, a day after blast at plant side, found that it had not only established a thermal power plant, but also started operations. A four-member team from OSPCB on Thursday started sealing the rolling mill and thermal plant of BSL’s Dhenkanal plant.