KEONJHAR: Shrinking water bodies and depleting groundwater level in the district has once again brought to the fore the demand to protect river Baitarani, considered the 'lifeline of Keonjhar'.

The Keonjhar Citizen's Forum blamed the present situation on the 'faulty policy' of the government. "The water of the district is allocated to different industries and mining houses, without any consultation with the people here, who have the first right on the water," the forum alleged.

BHUBANESWAR: The Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) on Thursday announced it would commission the first phase of its six million tonne per annum (MTPA) steel plant in Angul within two months.

"By March we will achieve two MTPA production capacity in the first phase," company chairman Naveen Jindal said after meeting senior state government functionaries at the secretariat here. About 30,000 people were working round the clock to meet the deadline, he informed, adding the facility would achieve full capacity of six MTPA within the next three years.

Despite concerns from several quarters including the Odisha High Court, bio-medical waste management and handling in different government hospitals including three state-run medical colleges and ho

The Odisha government has approved a proposal for withdrawal of land acquisition process for Sterlite Iron and Steel Company, a Vedanta group firm, which proposed to set up of a 5 million tonne steel plant in Keonjhar district.

The government has directed the revenue department to take appropriate action in this regard. “The government, after careful consideration, has been pleased to accept the land surrender proposal. You are therefore, requested to take action as per rules/act in vogue,” the state steel and mines department wrote to the deputy revenue secretary.

Despite concern over the end use of both ground and river water for industrial purposes, the use of ground water for drinking, irrigation and industries in Odisha is 26.14 per cent.

The Centre today asked the Odisha government to sort out the forest diversion issues expeditiously in the mining areas.

As many as 54 mining leases in Odisha are operating under deemed extension following the expiry of their leases. The expiry period of the leases ranges from five to 25 years.

According to information given by minister for steel & mines Rajani Kant Singh in the state assembly, mine owners like Tata Steel, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL), Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), Essel Mining & Industries Ltd (EMIL), Mid East Integrated Steel Ltd, Ferro Alloys Corporation (FACOR), Rungta Sons and KJS Ahluwalia are operating their leases under deemed extension.

Despite Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s pro-tribal image, over 200 tribal families displaced in 1998 to pave way for construction of Golden Quadrilateral National Highway are left in the lurch.

After imposing penalty of about Rs 75,000 crore against 104 mining companies for excess production of ore, Odisha government has identified 111 mines violating environment laws, official sources sa

The mining industry in Odisha has virtually come to a grinding halt with the state government limiting iron ore mining only for captive consumption.