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Government to go ahead with Chamalapura power project

Special Correspondent

Farmers, activists will be taken into confidence, says Revanna

BANGALORE: Despite protests by farmers and local pepople, the State Government has decided to go ahead with the thermal power project at Chamalapura in Mysore district.

Minister for Energy and Public Works H.D. Revanna told presspersons on Saturday that Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. (KPCL) has been asked to conduct the feasibility study on the proposed project. The Government would take the people and farmers of Chamalapura into confidence before the commencement of the work on the project conceived in 1995.

Unfazed by the public protests and criticism against the negative fallout of the coal-fired thermal plant, he said the State was facing severe shortage of power and there was demand for power from industrialists and farmers. Progress could not be achieved without tackling the power problem. “All protests at Chamalapura are politically motivated” and a few leaders had been opposing the project for political gains, he said.

The Government had decided to implement three thermal power projects of 1,000 MW each in Gulbarga, Belgaum and Chamalapura. The detailed project report of the Chamalapura project would be ready in the next two weeks, he said. However, farmers and local community of Chamalapura had launched the protest against the project to get it disbanded. About 3,000 acres of land would be required to set up the plant.

About power cut in rural areas, he said the power supply was erratic because of system improvement works undertaken by Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd.

Strong opposition

Mysore Staff Correspondent reports:

Various progressive and environmental organisations, which oppose the power plant at Chamalapura, have now come under the banner of Chamalapura Ushna Vidyut Sthavara Horata Samanvaya Samithi.

A meeting of the Federation of the Progressive Associations in Mysore on Saturday decided to give a strong base to the movement. Farmer leaders, Dalit activists, writers, intellectuals, theatre personalities, artists, and Kannada activists have decided to oppose the project.

Taking exception to Minister for Energy H.D. Revanna’s announcement on implementing the project despite opposition from the people, the samiti has vowed to stall the project at any cost.

Rally on September 12

The samiti has decided to organise a rally on September 12 in Mysore. It resolved to hold meetings in every village of Mysore, H.D. Kote and Hunsur taluks.

It also resolved to stage a dharna in front of the residences of MLAs, MLCs and MPs to persuade them to join the movement against the project.

Responding to Mr. Revanna’s statement, writer Devanuru Mahadeva said that the movement was not at all politically motivated.

“We are prepared to oppose the project, even if any political party leads the agitation,” he said.

Convener of the Association for Concerned and Informed Citizens Mysore (ACICM) Lakshman said that Mr. Revanna had posed a challenge to the people of Mysore and this could be addressed only through a strong movement.

Environmentalist Ravi Kumar sought to know how Chamalapura Project, which was declared technically not feasible a decade ago, suddenly become feasible.

Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) president Puttanniah urged farmers to put up a board in every village opposing the movement.

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