**Jharsuguda: ** Following the collapse of the ash pond wall of Vedanta Alumina here, Katikela villagers resorted to protest and locked the main gate of the factory demanding compensation.
The wall of the ash pond collapsed on Monday night and immersed hundreds of acres of paddy fields causing huge damage to the standing Kharif crop of this year’s monsoon. The influx of ash slough also entered houses of the villagers before flowing down into the Bheden river.
An aggrieved villager said, “The ash pond collapse has taken place on Monday night around 8.30-9.00 pm. It rushed into the village. Hundred acres of paddy fields have been damaged. No officials from the Vedanta have reached here to take stock of the situation.”
Another villagers burst, “Despite our protest, the ash pond was built near the village. It is posing danger to us. No one from the Vedanta company or from the district administration came here to look after the damage caused. Even Vedanta is yet to pay the compensation amount after acquiring the land here.”
Following the protest, Tahsildar reached the spot. However, the damage had not been assessed till the report last came in.