Thousands of anxious residents, who believe their lands will be directly or indirectly affected if the proposed 4,000 MW mega thermal power plant is established at Niddodi, have written to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asking him to scrap the project.

According to Kiran Manjanbail, convener of the samiti, nearly 2,000 residents from Niddodi and nearby villages of Yedapaduv, Nirude, Puttige, Kateel, Mucchuru, Padu Perar, Mudu Perar and Thenka Yedapadavu have signed the petition.

The Mathrubhoomi Samrakshana Samiti has also sent similar letters to the local MLA, Deputy Commissioner, Prime Minister and the President.

The letter talks of the economic impact on the people of the village, who are largely dependent on agriculture and could be displaced by the project. They have also expounded on the environment cost that the project would wrought on fertile agricultural land.

As prima facie evidence of this, they pointed out the lowering agricultural yields of farmers around Udupi Power Corporation Ltd. in Nandikur, and the probable pollution of the Nandini and other rivers.

Deferred strike

Meanwhile, the samiti has indefinitely deferred the hunger strike planned in Moodbidri on Saturday. Mr. Manjanbail said the samiti, which is spearheading the protests, was waiting for replies for the RTI applications filed on the project details. “It would make no sense for us to carry out protests again with vague details. If we have definite information, we can suitably project our demands,” he said. However, another samiti member said the deferment was a consequence of a recent meeting with Congress leaders that threatened to get violent. “We can’t allow an agitation to get violent. It will take the focus away from us losing our lands,” he said.

Instead, sub-committees are being formed in villages to allow for better control of protesters. “However, whenever an official or a politician comes, we are going to gherao them and question them. We want our anger to be heard, but not in a violent form,” he said.

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