Karnataka plans coal power plants despite water scarcity

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

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.

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