A delegation of 20 people visit the affected areas

The efforts of the State government to handover land to a private company for setting up of a 300 MW coal-based power plant at Latchaiahpeta village of Seethanagaram mandal in Vizianagaram district came in for severe criticism.

A delegation of 20 people of 10 villages, which would be affected by the proposed power plant, came to the city on Saturday. They visited the three villages – Moolaswayamboovaram, Swayamboovaram and Tittavanipalem – that were said to be affected by the NTPC Simhadri Power Plant.

They went round the villages and enquired from the people about their problems. Drinking water in the villages has turned black and was ‘tasteless', respiratory disorders, joint pains, paralysis and nervous weakness were common among the villagers. They said that the ash pond was resulting in contamination of salt ponds and wastes were being released into the sea. The only source of drinking water for the villages was the water tankers sent by the municipal corporation.

Members of the delegation staged a protest at the Gandhi statue opposite the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) Office to voice their protest against the proposal to set up the coal-based power plant at Latchaiahpeta. Representatives of CPI, CPI-M, CPI-ML (New Democracy) and IFTU, convener of Dalita Vimukti S.V. Ramana and Movement for People-centred Development leader J.V. Ratnam also participated in the protest.

They raised slogans denouncing the proposal of the State Government and alleged that the Government and company were trying to deceive the people by saying that the land prices would spiral after the plant was set up to make the villagers part with their land.

  • Members of the delegation stage a protest at the Gandhi statue near GVMC

  • Drinking water in the villages has turned black and was ‘tasteless', say residents