Rourkela (Reporters Today Bureau): Sundergarh, Jharsuguda and Sambalpur districts, which are full of hills, mountains, beautiful deep forests are now losing their beauty. For the three districts, factories like Vedanta and Bhushan are now creating pain. Sundargarh legislator Kusum Tete has now taken the lead in addressing the issue. Legislator Tete is standing tall against the arbitrary works of Vedant. She has done her best to curb Vedant’s mindless actions. She has written to the Chief Secretary and the Chairman of the Pollution Control Board to cancel the Vedant expansions. She is still presenting various issues faced by the people in the Assembly.
Despite repeated complaints from locals, there is no one to listen against Vedant. This is because of the honeymoon between the factory and the government. Vedant is under the umbrella of local legislators and ministers of the ruling party. There are certain rules for the operation of the factory. There are strict laws on factory smoke, toxic water, and ash management. But factories, especially Vedanta, does not follow it. As a result, people in the vicinity of the factory are living in misery.
The current health minister, who was elected MLA from Jharsuguda does not want to see the problems of the people. He has been working in the field of Vedanta’s overall improvement. But the Sundargarh legislator could not accept it. She strongly opposes such actions by ministers and factories. She repeatedly points out how water, air and soil are being wasted in the above three districts only for the factory. At Tete’s request, a fact-finding team from the BJP went to Vedant to verify the plight of the locals and found that hundreds of acres of cultivation land had been filled with ashes of Vedanta factory.
In addition, instead of on the land provided to Vedanta by the government, the factory has now dumped ash in various places near it. The government and the government officials are so favourable for Vedanta that even though the ashes of Vedanta stacks just 200 meters from the district magistrate’s office, the district magistrate cannot see it.
Today, on the first day of the assembly, Tete briefed in the Assembly how the residents of three district face problems for the misdeed of Vedanta. She described how local farmland was losing fertility, river water polluted, and people suffering from air and waterborne diseases. Tete has executed her duties raising the issue of her area and the neighboring districts in the house, acting as an honest public representative.
Tete protested during the general election after understanding the government’s selfish attitude. He opposed the inclusion of a permanent businessman like Naba Das in the party and resigned from the party to join the BJP. It may be in memory that Bobby Das and Sanjay Dasburma, the BJD’s Chanakya, had to go to explain to Tete but in vain. Clearly, Tete is never ready to betray the people or compromise for her own interests under any circumstances. For her, rules, ideology and the happiness of the people are paramount.