Panel consisting of retired vice-chancellors and government officials
will ascertain people’s views
CUDDALORE: Environmental and rights activists have decided to form
an expert committee to go into the issues relating to the proposed
1320-MW private power project to be set up in the Thiagavalli-Kudikadu
coastal region here.
At least 10 organisations met here on Saturday to chart out the
strategy to protect the environment, marine life, agriculture and
livelihood of the local people.
The meeting resolved to constitute a five-member panel consisting of
retired Vice-Chancellors and government officials to ascertain the
views of the people on the project promoted by the Cuddalore Power
It also decided to call upon the District Collector to convene a
meeting to clarify the doubts of the people and that of the elected
representatives of local bodies.
The public hearing held recently was a non-starter as the audience turned restive, resulting in its cancellation.
The speakers gave an assurance that their organisations would back
the people in safeguarding their rights. The proposed plant was likely
to generate 2,500 tonnes of fly ash a day and discharge a huge quantum
of hot water into the sea that would cause irreparable damage, both on
the shore and off shore.
The concentration of chemical units had worsened the pollution level
in Cuddalore and any further deterioration would make the place
uninhabitable. Hence, they sought a ban on any new pollution causing
ventures and close monitoring of the existing units.
They noted that because of the spirited fight put up by the people
of Periapattu, Silambimangalam and Andarmullipallam in 1997 the
government retracted from the proposal to set up tannery units.
The pollution problem would not get confined to the 12 hamlets but
would severely affect the export potential of prawns, fish and crabs,
besides cultivation, they said. Henry Tiphagne, Director, People’s
Watch, called upon the villagers to put up a show of unity.
M. Nizamudeen, general secretary of the Cuddalore District Consumer
Protection Organisation, said the concerns of the local people should
be adequately addressed before clearing the project.
Representatives from Pasumai Thayagam, Sasi Service Organisation,
Coastal Area Network, Movement for People’s Rights, Corporate
Accountability Desk, Other Media and LEED, participated.
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