Amnesty International has warned that thousands of families in the Indian state of Orissa are facing serious health risks during the imminent monsoon season following reports of leaks at the Vedanta Aluminium refinery’s main ‘red mud pond’, a vast reservoir of toxic residue.
The organization has obtained video footage taken by people living in the Lanjigarh area showing two recent serious breaches of the pond following heavy rains, with gushing liquid flowing onto nearby roads.
An estimated four to five thousand families in 12 villages are threatened by the leaks, which could worsen during heavy monsoon rains.
“Vedanta and the authorities must take action – with rainy season approaching the situation is a ticking time bomb. The red mud pond poses a serious threat to the health, livelihoods and safety of the local people” said Ramesh Gopalakrishnan, Amnesty International’s South Asia Researcher.