If pollution continues, he will press for closure of power plant
Sri Visvesha Tirtha swamiji of Pejawar Math cancelled his indefinite fast scheduled to begin from Wednesday after the State government withdrew acquisition of land for the second phase of Mangalore Special Economic Zone project.
However, he announced here on Wednesday that his fight against pollution caused allegedly by Udupi Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. (UPCL) in Udupi district was on.
He would announce his future course of action after October 2.
The 81-year-old swamiji told presspersons that he had placed two demands before the government.
The government had fulfilled the first one relating to de-notifying land for the second phase of the MSEZ project.
The second one was pertaining to pollution caused allegedly by UPCL near Padubidri. He said the government had included two experts suggested by him as members of an expert panel constituted by it to study and report on the alleged environment pollution caused by UPCL within six months.
He had pressed for it. The experts were Y.B. Ramakrishna, chairman, State Biofuel Task Force, and T.V. Ramachandra, professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The swamiji said that he was pressing for the government to seek a report from the committee before October 2 without waiting for six months. He said after studying the findings and suggestions of the committee the next course of action would be decided. The swamiji said that not withstanding the measures suggested by the committee, if the pollution continued and if people were forced to leave their villages, he would press for closing down the UPCL.
He would support farmers' stir against acquiring agriculture land for Posco's steel plant project in Gadag district if he received an invitation from farmers. He said he would support any agitation if development projects were affecting fertile agricultural lands and farmers.
Barren lands should be acquired for such projects and not fertile lands, he said.