Orissa asks Posco to consider alternative water source

Orissa govt says it has asked Posco to consider alternative source of water for its proposed 12 mtpa mega steel mill near Paradip.

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2010, 22:09 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Amidst widespread protest from different quarters including farmers, the Orissa government on Friday said it has asked Posco to consider alternative source of water for its proposed 12 mtpa mega steel mill near Paradip.

"We have asked Posco to consider alternative source of water for its proposed steel plant," Water Resources secretary Suresh Mohapatra said. Posco, which was originally planning to draw water from Jobra barrage near Cuttack city to feed its steel plant, has been asked to change its plan and think of getting water from Hansua river in Jagatsinghpur instead, he said.
Mohapatra said getting water from Hansua river would be cheap for the steel major as it was barely seven kilometer from its proposed steel plant site, whereas Jobra barrage is
located at about 80 km from Dhinkia area.

The company was planning to lay a pipeline between Jobra and Dhinkia area to take 125 cusec water from Mahanadi river system. The water resources department in 2006 had given permission to the company to draw water from Jobra barrage.

Mohapatra said if the company draws water from Hansua river, it would solve two purposes. While excess water of Hansua river would be properly utilised instead of being discharged to the sea, it could also help farmers by avoiding a regular water logging over 10,000 to 15,000 hectare of agricultural field in Jagatsinghpur district, he said.
"If there is any shortage of water for the Posco project, the government can release water to the river though Taladanda canal," said a senior officer of Water Resources department.

Though the company was initially reluctant to make changes in its plan regarding the water source, it has engaged a consultancy to study feasibility on the state government`s
proposal of alternative water source, officials said.

Besides Opposition BJP, a number of local bodies and NGOs are opposed to the state government`s agreement with Posco for supplying water from Jobra barrage. Claiming that Hansua river would be most suitable location for the company, the state government maintained that this could solve two purposes.

While excess water of Hansua river would be properly utilised instead being discharged to the sea, it could also help local farmers by avoiding a regular water logging over
10,000 to 15,000 hectare of agricultural field in Jagatsinghpur district, sources said.
"If there is any shortage of water for the Posco project, the government can release water to the river though Taladanda canal," said a senior officer of Water Resources department.

Though the company was initially reluctant to make changes in its plan regarding the water source, it has engaged a consultancy to study feasibility on the state government`s
proposal of alternative water source, officials said.

Besides Opposition BJP, a number of local bodies and NGOs are opposed to the state government`s agreement with Posco for supplying water from Jobra barrage. Claiming that Hansua river would be most suitable location for the company, the state government maintained that this could solve two purposes.

While excess water of Hansua river would be properly utilised instead being discharged to the sea, it could also help local farmers by avoiding a regular water logging over
10,000 to 15,000 hectare of agricultural field in Jagatsinghpur district, sources said.