Bhopal: In a fly-ash dyke breach incident at Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP), the Singrauli district administration ordered a magisterial probe on Saturday. Owing to the incident, two persons have died and four are still missing.
District collector KVS Chowdhary ordered a magisterial probe on Saturday, the official press note said.
A press note issued by the administration said the power plant was warned four times between October 2019 to December 2019 about the dyke, but in vain.
“The collector’s office had issued show-cause notices to Sasan Power regarding its ash dyke on October 4, 2019, October 22, 2019, November 30, 2019 and December 17, 2019, but no action was taken by the administration of Sasan power, which led to this incident. Appropriate action will be taken against the officials responsible,” it says.
Even after two days of the incident, the rescue team have recovered two bodies, including that of an eight-year-old child; four persons are still missing. The fly-ash dyke of Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Madhya Pradesh's Singrauli collapsed on Friday evening. The 3960 MW plant is one of the largest integrated power projects in the world.
The bodies of Dinesh Kumar of Bhamora village and eight-year-old Abhishek Kumar Shah of Siddhikalan were found on Saturday morning, said Singrauli SP Tushar Kant Vidyarthi, who has been camping in the village with rescue teams since the previous evening.
Rescuers are desperately looking for two more children, including a toddler, and two men in the ash slurry that now cakes a large part of Harhawa region, about 30 km from Singrauli town and 700 km east of Bhopal.
SDRF and NDRF teams are on the spot, the collector said. “Rescuers are looking for three-year-old Ankit Kumar, Seema Kumari, 9, Chunkumari, 27, and Rajjad Ali, 28. Two women -- Keshpati Shah, 28, and Reena Kumari, 26 -- were injured and are in a hospital,” he added.
Later in the day, the administration issued a statement, which mentioned that the Reliance Power management has promised a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to families of the adults who died in the incident and Rs 5 lakh in case of the death of a minor. A job would also be given to the ‘heir’ and maintenance allowance of Rs 7,950, as per norms, would be given to the dependent of the deceased.
While a local activist who fights for the rights of the labourers in the region, Ram Lallu Gupta, said, “Three months ago, we staged a sit-in for 24 days outside the Reliance plant. We flagged to the authorities that the breach could happen any time. Reliance had given in writing that it won’t happen. And even the administration had verified it.”
Farmers will be compensated: Collector
Collector Chowdhary has ordered that food, shelter and other essential items be provided instantly to the affected people. “Appropriate compensation will be provided to the farmers after loss assessment survey. Action will be taken against officials responsible,” he said.
A statement issued by Sasan Power Ltd said, “We are deeply anguished by the incident involving the break in the ash dump yard wall at our plant. It pushed the water, leading to break in the boundary wall, affecting some thatched houses and minor land parcel. We are investigating the reasons underlying the incident. Power Plant operations continue as relief and restoration work is not affected by it. We are closely working with locals and the district administration in relief and restoration work.”
In August last year, a similar breach occurred near a power plant of the National Thermal Power Corporation in the district when a mud-wall of the fly ash dyke of Essar Energy's Mahan-I thermal power plant collapsed in heavy rain and affected around 500 farmers.
Collector Choudary then had asked all coal-based power plants to strengthen their dykes, however, all gone in vain.
Also read: 2 Dead, 4 Missing as Dyke of Reliance’s Sasan Power Plant in Singaruali Develops Breach