Special Correspondent

It launches three-day campaign against bulk drug companies, power plants

VISAKHAPATNAM: The three-day campaign of Human Rights Forum against ‘destructive development’ in the form of bulk drug company, thermal plants and nuclear power plant in Srikakulam district under the slogan ‘Save Srikakulam’ began at Pydibheemavaram in Ranasthalam mandal on Friday.

HRF members raised slogans, distributed pamphlets and held street corner meetings in several villages of the mandal condemning the toxic effluents being let off by a cluster of four bulk drug units. This pollution, HRF said, was damaging crops, ground water table, people’s health, and also resulting in drop in marine catch because untreated effluents were being let off into the sea through pipeline.

HRF campaign also covered Kovvada Matsyaleham where a nuclear power plant was proposed by Central Government.

The fisherfolk in these villages as well as in several surrounding villages were detailed the dangers posed by the nuclear power plant which was expensive and inherently hazardous.

In all, HRF campaigned in eleven villages of Ranasthalam mandal on the day.

On Saturday, it would campaign in Santabommali mandal where two thermal power plants are proposed to be set up.

HRF State general secretary V.S. Krishna, State secretary K.V. Jagannadha Rao and district president M.M. Hussain participated in the programme.

“Suddenly, as many as six thermal power plans to generate 10,000 MW are proposed for the backward Srikakulam district in Santabommali, Sompeta, Kaviti, Kanchili and Ichchapuram mandals. Though the rulers and industrialists claim that this would help develop Srikakulam district, the fact remains they would plunge the people in gloom.

There is no chance of providing jobs for local people in these plants which will be ultra modern and could employ only a few technically qualified persons.

However, the damage they can do to the environment will be very high which is why the HRF has given a call to the local people to oppose them,” Mr. Krishna explained.

While the extent of Tampara village was four lakh acres, as much as 2,450 acres of it was allotted to two power plants – the East Coast Energy Private Ltd., which wants to set up a 2,640 MW plant at Kakarapalli in Santabommali mandal and the Meghavaram Power Pvt. Ltd., which will come up with a 495 MW unit close by.

“The place is environmentally sensitive. The lands are waterlogged throughout the year and are famous as Naupada Swamps with flowing in steadily through the Desigedda, Garibulagedda and Yenugulagedda streams,” he said.