Hirakud farmers to get financial aid from Hindalco in Orissa

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Sambalpur, Oct 7 (UNI) Hindalco, producing Aluminium from Alumina, has agreed to pay compensation to farmers of Gundurupada, Nua Jamada, Nua Gujatal, close to Hirakud township for their crop loss.

Farmers alleged that the standing crop on more than 140 acres of paddy fields was damaged following emission of fluoride gas from the firm's factory.

Sambalpur District Collector Pradipta Kumar Patnaik said though the state pollution control board and central rice research institute (CRRI) had not yet specified the reason behind the crop loss, the company had agreed to pay Rs 10,500 per acre at the insistence of the district administration in the interest of the farmers.

Mr Patnaik said financial assistance would be given to farmers after a team led by Sambalpur Sub-Collector K C Sahu would assess the damaged crop.

The assessment work would start from October 10.

Meanwhile, experts of the CRRI have suggested to the farmers to change the variety and pattern of crop, use cow dung and store sufficient water in the field to get some return.

''In a similar situation in 2003, Hindalco management had paid paid Rs one lakh to all the farmers. But this time the assistance amount would be around Rs.1.5 crore,'' Mr Patnaik informed.


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