Amidst strong protests by local people and various organisations, officials conducted the public hearing regarding the construction of Krishnapatnam International Leather Complex Pvt. Ltd. (KILCPL) at Kothapatnam in Kota mandal of Nellore district on Wednesday.
There were some tense moments as nearly thousands of protesters tried to confront officials and police officers which led to some heated arguments. At one point, the protesters flung chappals, chilli powder and sand on the officials to disrupt the public hearing. Expecting trouble, the district administration had made elaborate security arrangements with over 300 policemen stationed at the venue.
The organisations demanded that the proposed leather complex not be allowed to come up at the proposed site as it would cause pollution make it difficult for the lives of the local people in and around the six villages.
Among the protesters were leaders of YSRC, Jana Vignana Vedika, CPI (M), Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC), SC ST Land Protection Committee, Kulanirmulana Porata Samithi.
They deplored that the leather complex would affect people living in Kothapatnam, Govindpalli, Govindpallipalem, Vavillajaruvu, Siddhavaram and Srinivasa Satram.
The KILCPL, a joint venture of the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), Leather Industries Development Corporation of AP (LIDCAP) and other private partners, is aimed at creating a modern infrastructure for the production and processing of high quality leather.
It is deemed to come up on 412 acres near the coast with facilities to be created to accommodate 25 tanning units and 21 leather processing units. Nearly 300 tonnes of hides and skins is meant to be processed per day at this complex.
Despite strong protests, District Collector B. Sridhar and other officials went ahead with the public hearing and accepted representations from some people.
“There are representations for and against the project. The public hearing has been completed. I will send the report to the government at the earliest,” he said.
The officials took serious view of the protesters bringing schoolchildren from Siddavaram and Govindpally and ordered action against the staff of the schools for their negligence. Around five children sustained minor injuries as they were pushed around in the crowd.