Groups representing farmers have alleged that a sugar manufacturing company has started expanding its co-generation power plant in KR Pete without mandatory government clearances.

The sugar mill is said to be an associate company of India Cements.

In a press conference here, members of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) said that Coromandel Sugars has not made proper provisions for dealing with effluents.

The plant, which has a 14 megawatt co-generation unit, is upgrading it to 30 MW, they said.

It is mandatory that companies get clearance for expansion from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board.

The organisation pointed out that the power plant was using coal.

The associations, which have staged several protests, have complained to the National Green Tribunal.

“When Karnataka State Pollution Control Board was sought an explanation why it had not taken action against the company, it (KSPCB) said that as the matter is now with the National Green Tribunal, it could not act on the issue,” said M.V. Raje Gowda, a member of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha.

KSPCB stand

Responding to queries, KSPCB Chairman Vaman Acharya confirmed that the company never applied for permission.

He added that the company has permission to use a back-up of 15 per cent coal to produce power according to national standards.

On the coal issue, he said that the company cannot afford to rely on coconut-based raw material for generating energy as it is not profitable.