Orissa heading for environment degradation: WSO
Bhubaneswar, June 5 (UNI) Growth of unregulated polluting industries and rampant mining in the name of massive industralisation has threatened the environmental health of the state, Wildlife Society of Orissa Secretary Biswajit Mohanty said.
The WSO Secretary cautioned that the environmental situation in Orissa would be catastrophic if planned industrialisation was allowed to be implemented. Farmers and fishermen, who form 80 per cent of the total state's population, would be severely hit and become ''environmental refugees''.
Speaking on the occasion of the World Environment Day here, he alleged the government had not conducted any total environmental impact assessment (EIA) study of the combined effect of all the proposed projects in mining, metals and power production on the state's environment and livelihoods of local communities.
It had not prepared any plan of mitigating the effect of emission of massive quantity of GHGs, bound to cause climate change in the state.
Nearly four million ton of coal dust (fly ash) are expected to be emitted every year in Orissa by burning 55 million tonnes of coal to generate 56 million ton steel, a target set by the Orissa government for 2010.
The WSO secretary said 64 sponge iron units in Keonjhar and Sundargarh have destroyed local water sources and agriculture fields leading to violent public agitation. More than 1,200 stone crushers were operating illegally in Orissa violating pollution control rules and sitting guidelines.
The State Pollution Control Board had miserably failed to shut down these units causing immense health hazard to the local people.
Hundreds of illegal mines were also operating in the dense forests of Sundargarh, Keonjhar and Deogarh, with the connivance of corrupt local officials, he alleged.
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