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Medha bats for renewable energies

Special Correspondent
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Medha Patkar
Medha Patkar

Social activist and NAPM national convener Medha Patkar on Wednesday alleged a big fraud in power generation capacity and targets in the country.

There was no requirement for 8 lakh MW by 2032, the capacity targeted through thermal power generation, while the capacity of several power plants that received consent from the Ministry of Environment till 2011 and were in the pipeline for additional capacity was 7 lakh MW. Not much attention was paid to transmission and distribution losses, ranging from 30 per cent to 40 per cent of power generated, Ms. Patkar said at a press conference and alleged that the required power generation capacity was being boosted for the benefit of the private sector even as farmers, fish workers, poorer sections, and people in general were paying the price.

Thermal power generation was affecting environment and leading to exploitation of natural resources.

Renewable and feasible alternatives such as solar and wind energies should be exploited. Micro hydel plants and even small thermal plants were welcome, she said.

An activist and former professor of Andhra University Babu Rao said old models of development were still being followed in the 21{+s}{+t}century.

People should take notice of the warning by scientists that in 17 years the coal reserves of the country would be exhausted and people would not be able to use power as liberally as they were doing now. Nature had set limits and it was time we thought of alternatives, he said.

Ms. Patkar, while talking about the new Land Acquisition Act, said it was good that the British time Act was repealed and a new Act came in its place. But the new Act had some shortcomings. Apart from Girijans, other indigenous groups such as fishermen should have gram sabhas to decide on their issues.

NAPM would like to see a gram sabha to give consent for acquisition of land for a PSU.

Though this Act would (from January 1, 2014), provide some relief to people whose land was being acquired, disadvantages due to other Acts involved in land acquisition would continue, she said.

Atomic power

Ms. Patkar, who returned from Kovvada in Srikakulam district, where an atomic power plant was being proposed, said officials sensed the mood of the people who were strongly opposing the plant and cancelled the public hearing citing cyclone as the reason.

NAPM State convener B. Ramakrishna Raju, NAPM activist Saraswathi Kavula, and J.V. Ratnam of Movement for People’s Centred Development were present.

Micro hydel plants and small thermal plants are welcome

Medha Patkar

NAPM Convener


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