Members of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) burnt the effigy of the Higher Education Minister V.S. Acharya for giving misleading statements about the coal-based thermal plant of the Udupi Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL) near the Bus Stand at Padubidri in Udupi district on Wednesday.

They shouted slogans against the UPCL and Dr. Acharya.

KRRS district unit president Vijaykumar Hegde said Dr. Acharya had been giving misleading statements about the fly ash problem and leakage of saline water from the pipelines of the UPCL. Although Dr. Acharya was the district in-charge Minister, he was not even bothered to visit the affected areas surrounding the thermal plant. Top government officials had not visited the spot.

It was wrong to give a clean chit to the UPCL without even investigating the matter thoroughly. The pollution caused by UPCL had been destroying crops, contaminating water and affecting health of the people.

If the elected representatives failed to get the pollution caused by the UPCL investigated, the KRRS would launch a Statewide agitation on the issue.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa should visit the villages around the thermal plant and see for himself the pain and trouble being borne by the people. This would give him a better perspective instead of giving a statement that he would not allow the UPCL to close down.