A large number of people from five gram panchayats in Puttur taluk on Thursday organised a motorcycle rally in Mangalore in protest against the proposed 25 MW hydel power project across the Kumaradhara river in Kuntru Perabe.

The rally, which was held under the aegis of Kumaradhara Urambi Anekattu Virodhi Horata Samiti, started from Kadaba. They came to the city and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.

Suresh Kumar Kodur, convenor of the samiti, told presspersons that large tracts of irrigated lands would be submerged if the hydel project came up at Kuntru Perabe. The project would be detrimental to plant and animal species in the reserve forest along the banks of the river.

Samiti president Karunakar Gogate said though the promoters of the project had acquired 38 acres of land, they had barricaded about 150 acres surrounding it. “They are preventing people from reaching the river. They are doing it without securing permission of the State government,” Mr. Gogate alleged. Following a complaint by the samiti, Mr. Gogate said Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) had stayed work at the site. He alleged that the promoters ignored this order.

Deputy General Manager of Kukke Hydro Projects Private Limited Praveen Devaiah said the company, which had secured government’s permission to execute the project, had placed guards on its property. “We have not blocked access of the people to the river,” he said and added that the company was getting clearances from the departments concerned. Following the order of KREDL, the company had stopped the survey work, he added.

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