karnataka is in the process of commissioning several coal-based power projects. To discuss their feasibility, the
state's electricity regulatory commission conducted a public hearing in Bangalore. A proposed power plant at Chamalapura in Mysore district
was the focus of the discussion. Public interest groups presented their reservation on the 1,000 mw project. The Mysore Grahakara Parishad
had earlier filed a petition against such projects.
The Environment Support Group (esg) reiterated that the source of the water, Kabini river in the Cauvery basin, did not have enough water in it. The state's water resources department has approved annual water usage of 1.56 thousand million cubic feet (tmc) for the proposed plant. The same quantity can irrigate over 6,070 hectares of paddy, esg officials said. "Water in the Kabini is declining. It is not enough for irrigation sometimes,'' said Leo Saldanha of esg.
The other problem, Saldanha said, Chamalapura had experienced 12 years of drought between 1971 and 2000 and again from 2001-03. "Chamalapura and surrounding villages fall in semi-arid areas. The water distress is obvious. Clearly, the water resources department missed out on this in their water availability assessments,'' he added.
The power plant's average monthly requirement of 0.13 tmc may not be a pressure during monsoon but this won't be the case during summers.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.