Bhubaneswar: Bowing to pressure from all quarters, the State Government on Tuesday has announced that there was no proposal to waive penalty against Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) for drawing water from the Hirakud dam for its Jharsuguda plant, without signing a formal agreement with the Water Resource Department.

Refuting charges of undue sympathy for the company, Suresh Mohapatra, Secretary Water Resources Department said that the company would be asked to pay the penalty at the rate of six times more than the normal water rate.

It is noteworthy to mention that the Opposition in the winter session of the Assembly, on Saturday, had alleged the State Government of protecting the interests of big industries by allowing them to draw water from Hirakud Dam, when the farmers are not getting water for cultivation and had demanded waiver of energy dues of farmers.

As per sources, the Executive Engineer of the Burla Main Dam Division had requested the additional Secretary of the Water Resources Department to waive the penalty on VAL.