‘Rythu Samaikhya’ trashes pollution report

April 09, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:38 am IST - VIJAYAWADA:

Wants NTTPS and APPCB to fund study

Farmers residing in the vicinity of the Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station (NTTPS) have appealed to the Lok Ayukta to order the NTTPS and Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) to fund and cooperate in continuing the studies by experts on the impact of pollution from the power station on the plants, animals and health of the people in the area.

In a response to the expert committee report, the “Rythu Samaikhya” representing the farmers rejected it. Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) former scientist and representative of the farmers’ association K. Babu Rao said that the report was “unscientific, fully biased and not as per the directive of the Institution of Lok Ayukta.” The expert committee erred by deviating from the task assigned to it and attempted to function as a court, he said.

Relevant scientific data was sent, but the expert committee completely ignored it and did not even bother to inform the farmers the reason why the data was not taken into consideration, he said. Mr Babu Rao quoting two green rating studies of 47 coal fired power plants done by the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, said that the Centre gave NTTPS a rating of 21/100 and put it at the 27{+t}{+h}position (meaning poor environmental performance) among 47 plants. This only confirmed the complaint made by the farmers, he said.

Mr Babu Rao, in his response to the Expert Committee report, cited several studies of other coal fired power plants and how they had impacted plants (in this case crops), animals (the livestock) and humans, the health of the farmers itself.

He also cited a Supreme Court Judgment in connection with the health of persons working in such power plants and an article in ‘Frontline’ magazine which revealed that there were 128 cases of work-related diseases in seven power plants in Gujarat as recently as January 2013.

No justice would be done to the farmers unless a comprehensive environment impact assessment (EIA) including ecological deterioration of Krishna River, crop loss and epidemiological study of the health status of the people of the area were done by independent experts under the supervision of the Lok Ayukta. The NTTPS and APPCB should fund the studies, Mr Babu Rao said.

‘Rythu Samaikhya’ representing the farmers rejects the expert committee report

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