Double compensation to farmers hit due to coal washery: Collector
   Date :23-Oct-2022

Staff Reporter
District Collector Dr Vipin Itankar, on Saturday, announced double compensation to farmers of Gondegaon and Warada villages of Parseoni tehsil who incurred losses due to coal dust and coal water pollution.
Due to release of coal-mixed water in to nearby agriculture lands by Gupta Coal Washery of Gondegaon, crops of about 50 villagers got destroyed during this monsoon period. The villagers are facing the problem for last two years. They had raised the issue before the district administration many times but failed to get any relief.
On Thursday, about 100 affected farmers rushed to the company and staged demonstration in front of its gate. Due to the protest, functioning of the company got hampered. To control the situation, District Collector, on Friday, visited the spot and interacted with the company officials and farmers. Later, Revenue Department officials conducted panchanama of affected agricultural lands.
After the visit, Dr Itankar conducted a meeting at Parseoni Tehsil office. During the meeting, he announced to double compensation to all the affected farmers after completion of all necessary process.
Vandana Savarangpate, Sub Divisional Officer (SDO); Prashant Sangle, Tehsildar; Vidya Chikhale, Sarpanch, Warada; police officials, agriculture officer, and senior officials of Gupta Coal Washery were present in the meeting.
The company is releasing coal water into farm lands. also, due to coal dust released due to dry coal washing is damaging standing cotton crop in the nearby farms.
The District Collector instructed Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to initiate proper pollution study and prepare a report. He also asked the MPCB to take action against the company, after conducting the enquiry.
Vidya Chikhale, Sarpanch of the village, said, “The double compensation will not solve the existing issue. Farmers invested around Rs 1 lakh on their crops and if the administration provides just Rs 50,000, is nothing but a mockery of their hard labour.” “We do not want any compensation for our loss. We just want the Washery is closed down or at least shifted to other place,” demanded the Sarpanch.
According to villagers, the washery is in dry form. The coal is stored in 20-22 ft high heaps and the coal dust is causing huge pollution in 3 km around it. During monsoon, the dust-mixed rain water gushes into the agriculture lands. This is happening regularly for last four months leading to damage to crops.
The coal washery started in 2021. With no check on the company adhering to environment norms, coal dust from the company is severely impacting the crop. In some cases, farmers have incurred almost 75% loss, said sources.