Udupi, Sep 30, 2011: The Nandikur Jana Jagruthi Samithi and Raitha Sangha warned the Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) regarding the damage to the environment caused by its Nandikur power plant at a protest meet held in front of the UPCL main gate at Mudarangady – Bellibattu on September 29 Thursday. The people of Yellur, Santoor, Mudarangady, Hejamady, Padubidri, Padebettu, and Yermal also participated in the protest.
The protesting people shouted slogans against UPCL and urged DC Dr. Regu to arrive at the location to listen to their complaints.
Accordingly, DC Dr. Reju and SP Ravikumar Y. S. rushed to the protest venue to calm down the people. The farmers have alleged that salt water taken from the Arabian Sea for UPCL’s cooling towers is being discharged into their neighbourhood and is polluting the water bodies and wrecking the health of livestock and fish. The smoke from UPCL’s chimneys is polluting the air and the fly ash is contaminating the wells and irrigation ponds, they added.
Complaining that the district administration has done nothing in spite of the instructions issued by former CM B. S. Yeddyurappa, they said that the plant had the license to generate electricity till June 2011, but runs even today. The protestors urged the DC to solve the issue at the earliest, failing which they threatened to shut down UPCL’s main gate.
Responding to the farmers, Dr. Reju said that he was aware of all these issues and that the state government has issued instructions to form an expert committee, which will visit villages to collect information. He assured the villagers that he is making an honest attempt to solve the issue. After Dr. Reju’s promises and assurances, the people called off the protest.
Security was beefed up throughout the protest to prevent the situation from going out of control.