Collector holds public hearing at Kotipam in Komarada mandal

VIZIANAGARAM: The environmental clearance for the proposed 4 x660 MW thermal power plant at Kotipam village in Komarada mandal by Alfa Infraprop Private Limited has been reserved at the public hearing held at the plant site on Friday.

Collector G. Ram Narayana Reddy. who heard the opinion of people, All-India Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, A.P. Rythu Coolie Sangam, Human Rights Forum, CPI (M) and Pragitasila Mahila Sangham, said following objections raised by them on land acquisition, utilisation of water, disposal of waste water and fly ash he would refer the issues to CCLA, Ministry of Environment and Forests and also Irrigation Department for a final word.

The Collector made the observations when Human Rights Forum state secretary V.S. Krishna objected to conducting public hearing without alienation of land required for the plant. He also demanded how the management would dispose of waste water running into over two lakh litres per hour and also how it makes use of fly ash generated.

‘Bogus’ report

Mr. Krishna said Environment Impact Assessment report itself was ‘bogus’. The plant requires 1,675 acres of which only 575 acres were ‘purchased’ by the management. The participants alleged that the management intimidated them and ‘purchased’ land through mediators. Apart from D-patta land some 220 acres of ayacut under Vanakabadigedda reservoir that is under construction at an estimated cost of Rs. 6.5 crores were also ‘purchased’. Hence, the Collector said as the government had already spent Rs. 2 crores on the reservoir, the Irrigation Department must have to create alternative ayacut under the reservoir.

Pola Eswara Rao of AIKMS and D. Verma of RCS said utilisatiton of 2.5 TMC of Nagavali water would have an indirect bearing on farmers under Thotapalli and Jhanjhavati projects. They also demanded action against the management for purchasing D-patta land. The company representative, however, maintained that in the EIA report it was clearly stated that AIPL would utilise ‘flood waters’ in Nagavali and steps would be taken to control pollution besides initiating social welfare activities. The representative said an MoU was already signed with three cement units for utilising fly ash. The gathering, mostly Jatapu tribes led by the mass organisations, did not believe in the assurances and also welfare measures to be taken by the company. When the meeting started at 12 noon, the tribals waving black flags and red flags and placards raised slogans against setting up of factory on their lands. They even crossed the police cordon and reached near the dais of the Collector. They remained calm after an hour when the Collector promised to hear everyone’s views on the project.

There were divergent views aired on the project at the public hearing. While a few youths and non-locals favoured the project, tribals opposed it tooth and nail.