To submit a scientific critique at PCB public hearing today

The National Alliance of People’s Movements, the Vinasakara Thermal Vidyut Vistarana Vyatireka Committee, and the Andhra Pradesh Ryot Sanghala Samakhya are going to oppose the proposed 800 megawatt expansion of the Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station by submitting a scientific critique of the Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment report at the public hearing to be held by the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board on Friday.

Several villages surrounding the thermal power station have already passed resolutions opposing the proposed expansion.

Environmental activist who retired as a senior scientist of the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology Kalapala Babu Rao, in a critique of the Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment (REIA) report for the expansion of NTTPS said, “The methodology adopted by the EPTRI study and endorsed by inclusion in the draft EIA is wrong and the conclusion that there is no effect on crop production is a fraud. Such misuse of science deserves severe condemnation.”

The conclusion of the critique said that the three organisations were “firmly opposed to the giving of environmental clearance to the project and that the existing plant is already causing immense harm to the people of the area and is a danger for the future of humanity itself.”

The critique also dealt in detail aspects like land and water requirements, greenbelt, ash utilisation, air quality, and emissions, including nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, heavy metals like mercury and arsenic, and the overall health of people living in surrounding areas.

Mr. Babu Rao, using graphs, showed that none of them was up to the required norms and standards.

Quoting a study made on climate change by Andhra University in 2011, the critique said if the sea level rose by one metre about 4,040 square km, including intertidal wetlands and the land between the present and future high tide lines, would be affected along the entire 1,030-km coastline of the State displacing 1.67 million inhabitants. The low-lying Krishna-Godavari delta region would be the worst affected.

The CPI (ML) Krishna district unit also demanded that the expansion be shelved immediately.

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