Business honcho mum on ash pond breach

On a day when hundreds of farmers staged protest in Sambalpur seeking action against Hindalco, a subsidiary of the Aditya Birla Group, for its alleged negligence resulting in breaking away of its ash pond at Hirakud damaging around 100 acres of standing paddy crop, group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla avoided the media in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

Accusing Hindalco of deliberately letting its ash pond break, the affected farmers demonstrated in front of the revenue divisional commissioner (northern division) office. “We asked the RDC to conduct a fair probe. This is for the second time that Hindalco had done this deliberate act of negligence,” said farmers’ leader Ashok Pradhan. RDC Arabind Padhi said he has asked the pollution control board and Sambalpur collector to submit a report.

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