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Andhra Pradesh - Visakhapatnam Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

‘Pollution threat to villagers'

Special Correspondent

VISAKHAPATNAM: Following breaches in the red mud pond of the Vedanta's aluminium refinery at Lanjigarh, the birthplace of Vamsadhara, a vast agriculture area through which the river traverses in Srikakulam district and the people living in several mandals face the threat of polluted water, according to the Movement for People-Centred Development.

The breaches in the pond have resulted in a huge amount of the red mud sludge, a residue from the plant having highly toxic chemicals and heavy metals, getting deposited at the place where the Vamsadhara originates. Already about 5,000 people in the nearby villages are experiencing the effect of toxic red mud sludge. The breaches occurred twice, during late May and in June recently and if the water level of the river goes up due to rain in the catchment, the red mud would be carried down the course of river and pollute a vast area in Srikakulam district.

Plea

The Orissa government must immediately take action against the Vedanta management for allowing the pollutant to enter the river and make it stop production till the red mud was removed from the river, demanded the environmental organisation. The Vedanta management must bear the cost of medical treatment for every one who might get affected by the sludge, State committee member of the organisation J.V. Ratnam said.

There is every likelihood of the highly polluting red mud affecting people in more than 16 mandals in Srikakulam who use it as drinking water and the 1.67 lakh acres of agriculture land irrigated by the Vamsadhara, the environmental protection group said.

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