Geoscientists dub BI report on Sukinda Valley ''exaggerated''

Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2008, 10:33 [IST]

Bhubaneswar, Feb 27 (UNI) Geoscientists have come to the rescue of the Chrome mine owners in Orissa, describing the recent report of US based Blacksmith Institute on pollution in Sukinda valley as highly ''exaggerated and erroneous''.

There is an international conspiracy to put a halt on the development of chrome ore mining and Ferrochrome industry in India, the Society of Geoscientists and Allied Technologies(SGAT) yesterday said while taking strong exception to the report of the Blacksmith Institute(BI).

The findings that the Sukinda Valley in Orissa, the largest chrome ore deposits in the world, is one of the ten worst polluted in the world, were not based on proper scientific study, metal experts of SGAT said.

The Technical Advisory Board of Experts of the BI which have prepared the report, had never visited Sukinda Valley and heavily relied on the assessment of a survey conducted by the Orissa Voluntary Health Association (OVHA), carried out almost 12 years ago.

SGAT President B K Mohanty told newspersons here that the BI report was based on 'incorrect fact and erroneous assumptions'. The Institute, he said, even stated clearly that it was not possible on their part to independently verify the fact.

It was most shocking that a reputed Institute like BI could draw conclusion by merely relying on the observations made by some organisations without verifying the fact scientifically, Mr Mohanty said.

The BI, he said, also referred to the study of the IBM and BRGM in 1998 which indicated concentration of hexavalent chromium in excess of the permissible limit in pit water, ground water and surface water, in Sukinda vally.

This was the situation before the installation of the Effluent Treatment Plant(ETP) in the mines, the Geoscientists said, adding that there has been no trace of the hexavalent chromium in the Brahmini river as reported by the BI.

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