Monday, February 26, 2007

the study report on udupi is out and as expected the local protest committee has rejected the proposed udupi coal power plant due to its severe impact on pollution. this blog has been tracking the udupi issue for quite some time.

comparing an eco sensitive region like coastal karnataka with raichur will be preposterous each having different climates/river ecology/forest ecology/etc. on top of that raichur is already having issues with respect to coal power that is easily swept under the carpet by the policy makers and media.

the urgent need of this hour is to go on massive and mandatory solar/wind power facilites coupled with massive cutting of the 40% or so t&d losses and massive conservation across all sections of the society.

it is wrong on part of the urban elites to think that electricity is a privilege to be wasted. cases like udupi show that electricity has huge costs and each and every indian has to play a careful part in using electricity.

also an interesting q&a between the protest committee chairman and local students on the coal power plant in a seminar on environment protection.

“When Nagarjuna Power Corporation is ready to sell power at Rs 2.20 per unit, why do you oppose it?”

It was the question raised by one Zunera, a student of Vidyaniketan Public School. The occasion was the contact programme on ‘Environment Protection: Why we do not want Nagarjuna?’ organised jointly by Jana Jagruthi Samithi, Nandikur, and Nagarika Seva Trust, Guruvayanakere at Kaup.

It was the turn of the Vice President of Nandikur Jana Jagruthi Samithi Dr Y N Shetty to reply queries. Dr Shetty said, as per the Power Purchase Agreement, Nagarjuna sells power to the government at Rs 2.20. But the government will have to charge not less than Rs 4.50 to the consumer by adding surcharge, tax etc.

“Cheaper power is good for all. But not at the cost of our life. We cannot welcome an industry, which is hazardous. Moreover, even the arrack merchants try to convince the people that their product is cheap and good for health. But one will come to know its ill effects only after consuming it,” Shetty replied.

“If the coal based project affects the environment of Udupi, how it is not affecting Raichur?” asked another student Anurag. “We have Western Ghats here, whereas Raichur have got dry land. Inspite of that there is still lot of problem in Raichur,” replied Shetty. “Western Ghats are there even in Maharashtra, why they are not opposing?” Joylin shot her question.

“Who said they are not. They are fighting it tooth and nail against the Dahanu Power Project of Reliance group, he replied.

“But the NPCL will bring lots of job opportunities. Why shall we oppose?” asked Ashwini. Shetty replied, as many as 8000 coolies will get a job; that too only for 42 months.

At the most two thermal engineers from the district may get a job. Just for such a small job offer they cannot throw their life to danger.


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