Udupi, Aug 12, 2015: In a press release, Aug 11, Deviprasad Shetty, president of the Gram Panchayat Okkoota, said that the UPCL was already trying for expansion of its capacity. The second phase expansion of the UPCL’s thermal power plant would spell doom for Udupi district.
The Gram Panchayat Okkoota has opposed any further expansion of the 1,200 MW thermal power plant of Udupi Power Corporation Ltd. (UPCL) located at Yellur in Udupi district.
The UPCL had been purchased by the Adani Group. The 1,200 MW thermal power plant was already in operation. But the UPCL had sought expansion of its capacity and applied to the government for the same.
Any expansion of the thermal plant would have catastrophic consequences for the district, which was already reeling under the pollution problems posed by its existing plant. An expansion would affect the health of both people and animals in the surrounding areas.
There would be a severe increase in the heat in the surroundings of the plant. It would also lead to crop loss. The fly ash from the plant would lead to environmental problems. It would also destroy the fish as the UPCL released its used water into the sea. The ecologically fragile Western Ghats were closeby. The thermal plant was surrounded by agricultural lands. Experts had already opined that the land was not at all meant for setting up a thermal plant.
Udupi was an ecologically sensitive agri based district. The recent statement of Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake, that no new industries would be permitted until a study of the carrying capacity of Udupi district was conducted, was welcome.
Most of the power produced by the UPCL went to other districts. There were also charges of non-payment of taxes to the local gram panchayat by UPCL. The people of the district including elected representatives, intellectuals and students, should seriously take up the consequences of expansion of the thermal plant. Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Pejawar Mutt, who had earlier opposed the UPCL thermal plant, should lead the struggle against its expansion it was stated.