Villagers, particularly from Latchaiahpeta, Antipeta and Kinthalavanipeta, are divided over setting up 300 MW thermal power project at Latchaiahpeta in Sitanagaram mandal by NCS Group.

A number of men and women under the banner of the SC, ST and BC Ikya Vedika staged a demonstration at the Collector's office on Friday favouring early clearance for the thermal unit. M. Ananda Rao, the Ikya Vedika convenor, Soru Sambaiah of Bahujan Samaj Party, K. Sriramulu of MRPS led the villagers.

Mr. Ananda Rao, in a memorandum submitted to the DRO, said the region would develop if only industries were established and, as a result, a number of youth would get employment. It was not correct for some parties to oppose the thermal project, he asserted.

It may be recalled that following stiff opposition from people in the surrounding villages at the public hearing at Latchaiahpeta on February 18, District Revenue Officer Y. Narasimha Rao postponed it indefinitely.

Villagers opposing the unit have the support of CPI (M), CPI, A.P. Rythu Sangham, IFTU, AIDWA and POW. All those expressing support to those opposing the project had even staged a dharna at the Collector's office on February 21 and resolved to prepare for sacrifices, if necessary.

The CPI (M), Bobbii and Sitanagaram mandal committees had even alleged then that the factory management wooed some leaders to accomplish its task.

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