Last resort

Petition filed against NPCL in Udupi

By Nidhi Jamwal
Published: Sunday 15 January 2006

exhausting all means to stop the proposed coal-based thermal power plant in Udupi district of Karnataka, the Janajagrithi Samiti, a Nandikur-based voluntary organisation, has filed a public interest petition in the Karnataka High Court.

The petition cites illegalities on part of authorities like Karnataka State Pollution Control Board in clearing the project. The setting up of the Nagarjuna Power Corporation Ltd (npcl) in Udupi will destroy the local ecology and hit the livelihood of local villagers, claim petitioners (See 'Dj vu', Down To Earth, August 15, 2005).

Says Balakrishna Shetty of the samiti, "We are tired of making appeals to various authorities. An appeal signed by 4,271 villagers was submitted to the chief minister with a copy sent to the prime minister, pleading to stop setting-up the polluting project. We had also written to the npcl. But no action has been taken as yet." He said the Union ministry of environment and forests was also destroying their area. The agitation had taken a violent turn, so the court has been approached for relief as a final resort, he added.

The petition demands quashing of the environmental clearance and site clearance given to Nagarjuna. Both the Centre and the state governments have been requested to conduct a comprehensive study before clearing further projects in the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. A proposal to declare both these districts as ecologically sensitive has been prepared by the samiti. The petition has been admitted in the court and the five respondents will soon file their objections.

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