Samithi plans hunger stir against UPCL 2nd unit

 Nagarjuna Virodhi Horata Samithi President Vijaykumar Hegde said that he will go on hunger strike for the entire day against government’s decision to consent the second unit of coal based Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) thermal power plant on August 27 at Deputy Commissioner’s Office complex near End Point.

Speaking to media persons on Wednesday, he alleged that the assurances made during the setting up of UPCL power plant by the government has remained mere a lip service. The power generated in the plant is supplied to the areas in and around Udupi and Dakshina Kannada only because there is no 400 kv lines to transfer the power through Hassan region.

The plan to install electric poles all through 30 kms to transmit the power generated in the second unit passes through Western Ghats.

The height of the poll will be detrimental to the trees in Western Ghats which may lead to forest fire. The assurance of giving employment to people remains a false pledge, he ridiculed.

He said the MESCOM has to bear the burden of the additional charges incurring through the transmission of power that is generated by the second unit of UPCL as there is no consumer all through 400 kv lines connecting Hassan. In turn, the burden of distribution loss will be transferred to the public by charging extra for each unit.

Both central and state government should take the responsibilities of the loss suffered by the people in the area.

He urged the people in power to be accountable to the expectations of the people. People’s representatives including Udupi-Chikmagalur MP Jayaprakash Hegde, District-in-charge Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary, Zilla Panchayat  President Katpadi Shankar Poojary, Udupi taluk Panchayath President Devdas Hebbar and Deputy Commissioner Dr M T Reju should come out with the statements clarifying their stand over the project. Hegde also urged Union Corporate Power Minister Veerappa Moily and State Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje to clarify their stand.

He said the plant will also prove detrimental to the safety of MRPL, Mangalore harbour and to Bajpe airport. He urged the existing 600 MW unit should be converted into gas based power plant. The Government should take back the decision to commission the second unit.

Measures should be taken to prevent environmental problems incurring to Western Ghats. Sea water should be used by installing desalination plant. Besides government should also ensure Rs 200 crore as security funds, he said and added that if government is incompetent of fulfilling all these demands, it should immediately shift the plant from this area.

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