‘If Nagavali water is tapped, interests of ryots will be affected

Communist Party of India (Marxist) has demanded review of the environmental clearance given to Alfa Infraprop Private Limited for setting up 4 x 660 MW power plant at Kotipam in Komarada mandal because it misled the government for obtaining clearance. Environmental clearance to the plant was given on March 15.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, party district secretary M. Krishna Murty said that Alfa Infraprop had in its report mentioned that it would utilise 2.5 tmcft flood waters from Nagavali River for its operations. But, floods to the river occur only in July, August and September if only there was copious rain in its catchment area, Mr. Murty said and added that the management must have the capacity to store 2.5 tmcft of water. The average requirement for running the plant was 8,000 cubic meters of water per hour. Hence, it was not possible to store 2.5 tmcft of water. Tapping 2.5 tmcft of water from the river would affect farmers under Thotapalli project, he feared.

Secondly, the company in its report submitted had mentioned that 1,675 acres of land acquired for the plant was ‘waste land' though it was far from truth. Of the 1,675 acres, about 150 acres of land alone was waste land and the remaining was under cultivation. Thirdly, if the company would not use imported coal and take steps as per quoted norms to control pollution, the fly ash would spread particularly during monsoon and get deposited at the spillway of Thotapalli barrage that would reduce capacity of the barrage besides shrinkage in cultivable land under the project, he said.

Lastly, the government in its clearance certificate asked Alfa Infraprop to settle relief and rehabilitation package to affected families within three months after receipt of the letter of environmental clearance but even after four months of clearance the management made no attempt to settle the package issue.

Mr. Krishna Murty said that the government fixed the cost per acre at Rs.80,000 which was “very less” for a commercial power plant and demanded Rs.5 lakhs per acre and shares in the plant for equal amount besides job to one member of the affected family as was done by Jindal Aluminium at S.Kota in the district.

The management must fulfil the demands before commencing work, else the party would not hesitate to stop construction in future, he said.