Jindal Steel has been ordered to pay Rs 2 crore for stealing a river in Odisha. The National Green Tribunal said Jindal Steel and Power Ltd had changed the natural course of Kurdabahali Nullah and interfered with nature. This change cannot be restored.
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On 26th November, 2021, the NGT ordered JSPL to pay Rs 2 crore for killing a waterbody in Angul district of Odisha. It had to deposit 50 lakh with OSPCB and 1.5 crore with the Odisha forest department, reported Down to Earth.
This compensation amount will be used by the forest department in increasing green cover in the regions along the waterbody banks.
Regular monitoring of water quality of the nullah would be taken care of by the OSPCB.
JSPL entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Odisha government in 2005 for setting up of 900 megawatt captive power plant and 6 millions tonnes per annum steel plant at Kerjang in Angul.
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The IDCO acquired private land and handed over a large chunk of leasable government land to JSPL.
The Kurdabahali Nullah covers 20.46 acres and originates from the Badakerjang village and passes via the villages of Sankerjang jungle, Ramadihi, Kaliakata and it merges into the Parang Minor Irrigation Project.
The JSPL filled the actual Kurdabahali Nullah with earth and built it’s industrial complex over the original area, the NGT said. This construction was done by JSP without having been sanctioned by the government for Kurdabahali Nalla’s diversion.
A Cuttack resident, Alekha Chandra Tripathy filed a case in August 2017 and alleged that JSPL had usurped the nullah without any authorisation in connivance with state authorities.
As per judgement, JSPL will maintain diversion created by it in the nullah from its origin point to where it empties in the Parang Minor Irrigation Project.