A group of environmentalists have condemned the manner in which the government tried to rush through the public hearing for a proposed captive thermal plant for two chemical complexes at Balavaram village of Bikkavolu mandal in East Godavari district on February 6. Barring advertisements in a English and a Telugu daily, the government saw to it that the event was not publicised much and deliberately kept the programme a low key affair so that proceedings would be hassle free with poor attendance. Nonetheless, a large crowd approached the Collector with a request to postpone the hearing but she expressed helplessness as it was only four days away, said the group comprising V. Babu Rao, Jeswin, Raju and Saraswati.

They told a press conference here on Friday that the thermal plant was proposed in a highly fertile area close to Konaseema. It would pollute the area if permitted.