Jagatsinghpur, Sept 27: Farmers from Trilochanpur village under Dhinkia Panchayat in Jagatsinghpur district have alleged that their standing crops were damaged due to the chemical wastes discharged from the nearby Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) refinery at Paradip.
The farmers alleged that the water got mixed with the oil released by the refinery and flow into their land which ultimately damaged the crops in an area of over 300 acres in the village.
The residents of the Panchayat alleged that though they took up the matter with the local administration on several occasions, their grievances were not addressed.
“A white layer has formed on the water due to which the paddy plants are gradually getting rotten. The water has even turned black due to the chemical discharge from the IOCL refinery,” alleged Dhananjay Behera, a resident of Trilochanpur.
“A thick layer of oil has formed over the water due to which fish and other aquatic animals have been dying. The water has damaged the crops and causing skin problems in the villagers,” alleged another resident of Trilochanpur village.
The villagers also said that they will stage a protest if this persistent problem is not resolved at the earliest and compensation is not paid to them for the losses they have incurred.
Denying all the allegations, IOCL authorities claimed that no such wastewater was released into farmlands.
“Following allegation of the villagers, officials from the Health Safety and Environment department of the IOCL visited the refinery and conducted an investigation. No water is being discharged from the plant to the farmland. Wastewater discharge is stored in an oxidation pond which is then purified. 75 to 80 per cent of the treated water is re-used by the refinery, while the rest 20 to 25 per cent is released into the deep sea. No wastewater is mixing with farmlands,” said the Public Relations Office of IOCL, Sudhansu Sekhar Patra.