6 missing, 2 injured after Reliance power plant in MP develops breach
Six people went missing and two women sustained injuries after a fly ash dyke of Reliance’s Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project in Singrauli on the Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh border developed a breach on Friday evening, officials said.
KVS Chaudhary, the district collector of Singrauli, said those reported missing include Choonkumari Shah, 27, a resident of Siddhikala village, her son Abhishek, 8, and daughter Seema Kumari, 9, Dinesh Kumar, 35, a resident of Bhamaura village and his son Ankit, 3, and Rajjad Ali, 28, a resident of Waidhan.
Reena Kumar, wife of Dinesh Kumar, and Keshpati Shah have been injured.
“The dyke situated on Reliance Power Plant (Sasan) premises near village Harrahva developed a breach on Friday evening…The injured have been hospitalised and their condition is stable,” Chaudhary said.
The project is 780 kilometres northeast of state capital of Bhopal.
“The relief work is going on a war footing. A survey will be conducted to provide compensation to the villagers and action will be taken against those responsible for the incident,” Chaudhary said.
Sasan Power Limited said in a statement that the breach in the ash dump yard wall pushed the water causing a break in the boundary wall and affected some thatched houses and minor land parcel.
“We are deeply anguished by the incident involving the break in the ash dump yard wall at our Sasan Power Plant… We are investigating the reasons underlying the incident. Power Plant operations will continue as the relief and restoration work is not affected by the same,” it said.
“We are closely working with locals and the District Administration in relief and restoration work,” it added.
Environment expert Ashwani Kumar Dubey condemned the incident.
“Due to negligent act of officials of Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project, the fly ash dyke breached and toxic residue and fly ash-laden water entered the houses of villagers and damaged their crops and also entered the Rihand reservoir. There is a fear of loss of life as well,” Dubey said.
Dubey pointed out that this was not the first such incident in Singrauli.
“Earlier, fly ash dyke of Essar breached. Then dyke of Vindhyachal super thermal power plant breached. Now, this is the third such incident just within a year. Only a few months back the officials of the power plant told a team of National Green Tribunal (NGT) that their fly ash dyke was in a good condition,” he said.