Bhadradri power plant gets local support

Bhadradri power plant gets local support
Highlights

The environmental ‘public hearing’ for the execution of Rs 7,921-crore coal-fired 4X270 MW Bhadradri Thermal Power Plant near Manuguru that had been mired in controversy went off in a smooth manner on Thursday amid the allegations from the Human Rights Forum (HRF) activists that they were not allowed to represent and air the catastrophic effects of the proposed plant.

Manuguru (Khammam): The environmental ‘public hearing’ for the execution of Rs 7,921-crore coal-fired 4X270 MW Bhadradri Thermal Power Plant near Manuguru that had been mired in controversy went off in a smooth manner on Thursday amid the allegations from the Human Rights Forum (HRF) activists that they were not allowed to represent and air the catastrophic effects of the proposed plant.

The hearing gained prominence in the wake of objections raised by the HRF. It may be mentioned here that the Human Rights Forum moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT) complaining that TSGenco had taken up the construction activity for the thermal plant last year without obtaining environmental clearances from the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) that are mandatory. This led to the cessation of plant construction works.

Later, a team of officials from Chennai regional office led by MT Karuppiah reported to the MoEF&CC that the project proponent had already commenced and is continuing the construction activities without obtaining prior environmental clearances and the ‘Consent for Establishment’ from the State Pollution Control Board. Later, the construction activity of the plant came to a grinding halt.

Against this backdrop, the PCB conducted a public hearing on Thursday in which the TSGenco Chairman and Managing Director D Prabhakar Rao, Mahbubabad MP A Sitaram Naik, Khammam Collector DS Lokesh Kumar, Pinapaka MLA Payam Venkateswarlu and a host of leaders and villagers participated.

Speaking on the occasion, Sitaram Naik tried to allay the fears of the locals assuring that government would take care of the local environment. There is no violation of environmental norms and the project was taken up after getting consent from the Central government, he said.

The villagers, who didn’t raise objections to the plant, demanded a written assurance on employment opportunities to them in the proposed plant. Speaking to The Hans India, TSGenco Chairman and Managing Director D Prabhakar Rao said: “Our technical engineers have cleared the air about the sub-critical technology used in the proposed plant which has been the moot point since the project was conceived.

We have already released Rs 59 crore for relief and rehabilitation and its execution will be looked after by the district administration.” He said that Genco had agreed to provide 346 jobs to the families of the displaced.

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