Heaps of Coal at Kanika Railway Siding stockyard pose Serious Threat to nearby farmlands & human habitations

BILASPUR/SUNDARGARH: Heaps of coal at the Kanika railway siding stockyard have been posing a serious threat to nearby farmlands and human habitations, a report said.

Hundreds of coal-carrying trucks and dumpers ply regularly between Kulda open cast coal mines and the stockyard at the Kanika railway siding.

Locals say dirty water coming out from the coal heaps, particularly in the rainy season, flows directly into nearby farmlands. They are facing this problem since 2006.

This apart, due to regular plying of coal-carrying vehicles on the main road a layer of coal dust is seen on the rooftops of houses, leaves of trees and on the water surface in ponds and wells. The furniture inside houses is also getting covered with coal dust.

Locals say that the number of patients suffering from airborne diseases is on the rise as they are constantly exposed to polluted water and air.

The people expressed resentment over the callousness of the Basundhara Coal Mines project. “We have brought the problem to the notice of the general manager several times, but they have not done anything,” they said.

As per railway siding guidelines, regular spraying of water, planting of trees along the sides of the road and a three-meter high boundary wall are required at the stockyard. But here the picture is different as the guidelines are not followed.

The Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) had directed the coal mines to get the dust in ponds, wells and farming lands cleaned. But that has not been done.

The villagers have demanded that the Basundhara Coal Mines authorities should take steps as soon as possible to check water and air pollution.