The Essar Energy has paid ₹50 lakh as compensation to farmers of two villages in Singrauli district after tonnes of fly ash discharged from a power plant damaged their crops and some houses following heavy rain on August 7.
“Following our demand, the Essar has paid villagers for the loss of paddy crop in 110 acres and damage to six houses. If the damage assessed is valued more, we’ll ask for more compensation,” said Vikas Singh, Singrauli Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM).
Heavy rain caused a breach on one side of a fly-ash pond of the 1,200-MW coal-based thermal power plant, causing a deluge at Kharirahi and Karsualal villages. The plant is shut since.
Villagers were even compensated for the damage to crop in 60 acres of the Essar land they had been cultivating, out of the 110-acre affected area.
“One family of seven has been shifted to the panchayat building as their house was destroyed. They were given ₹25,000 by the district administration as support earlier,” he said.
After assessing the affected area, the Pollution Control Board has told the district administration that no toxics were released there. “However, the fly ash had entered the Garra river and polluted it,” said Mr. Singh.
The district administration is removing the fly ash so that the fields are fit for cultivation by the next sowing season. “If we are unable to make the area safe for cultivation by then, farmers will be compensated for it,” he said.