BANESWAR: One of the largest poultry farms in the state, owned by the son of leader of opposition Narasingha Mishra, has come under the scanner of National Green Tribunal (NGT), New Delhi bench for alleged pollution in nearby localities.
Narasingha’s son Soumendra Mishra has set up the poultry farm near Chhatamakhna, along the National Highway-26 in Balangir district. Soumendra appeared before the NGT on Friday through his counsel. NGT summoned him for personal appearance or through a pleader.
According to sources, the NGT’s summon came following a Balangir-based lawyer Bijaya Kumar Babu filed a petition in the first week of January. The petitioner alleged that poultry farm is causing air, water and soil pollution. “Noxious and pungent smell is emanating from the poultry farm. No measures are being taken to clean litters at regular intervals at the hatcheries and boiler units. The animal waste is also found strewn across the area,” the petitioner said in the petition.
Babu has brought to the attention of NGT the harmful effects of chemicals used in the farm. He has given example of methane, phosphorous and ammonia emissions. Before moving NGT, the petitioner had written to the district collector M Muthu Kumar and Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB).
NGT has also issued summons to the chairman, OSPCB, Balangir collector and director, animal husbandry and veterinary services.
“We appeared before the NGT through our pleader as directed by the green panel. We presented our case that the farm is fully environmentally controlled. There is zero smell and pollution as the processing is done in closed house. We have the robust system to clean up the waste. The complaint is a motivated one,” Soumendra told TOI.
According to OSPCB regional officer (Sambalpur) Hemendra Nayak, the farm has capacity to keep two lakh birds (chicken). “Poultry farm having more than one lakh birds came under OSPCB purview only in December, 2015. The directorate of animal husbandry and veterinary services used to monitor the farms. Since new rules came, we have asked owner of the poultry farm Soumendra to apply for consent to operate, which has been made mandatory,” said Nayak.
“I have ordered an inquiry to look into the alleged complaint. I have asked the veterinary officer to submit a report. Accordingly, we will submit a report to the NGT,” said Muthu Kumar.