Report by Orissa Diary correspondent; New Delhi: Noted socio-political leader and Chairman of SNSMT, Shri. Suparno Satpathy was today invited by PM Dr. Manmohan Singh to 7 RCR. The core matter of the agenda for discussion was the Coal-to- Liquid ( CTL ) plants which have been recently approved by the High level committee headed by the CM of Odisha Shri. Naveen Patnaik.
Two CTL plants have been approved to come up in Odisha . One by Jindal Synflex Ltd which is to be set up at Durgapur in Angul district and the other by Strategic Energy Technology Systems Pvt Ltd, a joint venture of Tata and Sasol of South Africa, at Gudiakateni in Dhenkanal district. Both the plants are said to be of Rs. 77, 000 Cr. value.
Production of Liquid fuel out of Coal brings in very high environmental risks. Like other forms of coal energy, the greenhouse gas penalties are enormous on CTL. Producing liquid coal emits roughly twice the global warming pollution as compared to the same amount of petroleum-based “conventional” fuel. Producing a gallon of liquid coal emits over six times as much carbon dioxide as produced by a gallon of conventional fuel. At a time when most of the countries have banned CTL it is surprising as to why India is willing to go ahead with it?
As per the report prepared by IIT-Delhi along with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Angul-Talcher stands at No.3 in the 10 critically polluted areas of the country. The pollution levels in Dhenkanal- Angul- Talcher area have already reached a ‘very alarmingly’ high level. Besides high levels of pollution this area also faces acute water problem. Humans & livestock living in this zone have shown rapid increase in ailments like Cancer, Skin disorder, TB, Florosis and other diseases which were never reported from this zone. After declaring it as a ‘Critically Polluted Area’ on the above ground, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) had recently imposed temporary moratorium for further industrialization in this area and had directed the State Pollution Control Board to prepare a ‘Action Report’ to control pollution. The SPCB on its own formed a committee comprising of ex- CPCB officials and official of Polluting Industries as its members, to monitor the Action Taken Report. After the Inspection Report, ‘temporary moratorium’ had been lifted and quickly the state High Level Clearance Authority allowed these two highly polluting CTL projects in this ‘Critically Polluted Area’. “It is a conspiracy hatched by the unholy ‘Odisha government-Industrial House Nexus’. Vested interest has been given more weight age over the cost of the life and property of the poor people” said Shri. Suparno Satpathy. Affected people of the area have already started agitating to stop the unethical, illegal and inhuman action of the Odisha State Government. Recently the Collector of Angul was gherowed by the locals of Durgapur.
A dvd produced by SNSMT containing a video documentary of the ground reality of the said zone was provided to the PM today. “I am thankful to SNSMT for appraising me with such a serious issue. We will make sure that no harm to the environment or the people of Angul- Dhenkanal zone is encountered due to these CTL plants. I shall personally look into this matter” said PM Dr. Singh.
“We do not oppose industrialization but we oppose the mindless approval granted by the Govt. of Odisha. CTL is a highly polluting proposition and it brings in a lot of ills along with it. These ills can not be justified with any sort of compensations. Its like paying a small amount and buying over the lives of the people of the zone along with the lives of their forthcoming generations. This is what we are opposing. We would want the Govt. of Odisha to create a sustainable road map considering the future” said Shri. Suparno Satpathy . He added “While letting out our own property or our parental property we take so much of care to draft a lease agreement then how can the Govt. of Odisha decide the fate of Odisha with out even putting basic common sense on to it? We elect the govt. to govern us for a period of 5 years. No one has the right to sell off Odisha. Odias and Odisha are not the parental property of any one and under no circumstance Odisha certainly is not for sale”.