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Oppn to thermal project in Udupi intensifies

Written by: Staff

Nandikur (Karnataka), Nov 20: Sri Vishvesha Thirtha Swamiji of Udupi Pejavar Mutt today reiterated that the Government could not impose the proposed coal-based thermal power project on the people if it was found harmful to the environment of the eco-sensitive Udupi district.

Participating in a dharna organised by the Nagarjuna Vidyuth Sthavara Virodhi Samithi here against the proposed project by the Nagarjuna Power Company Limited, he said he fully supported the agitators' demand for immediately stopping all survey and fencing work at the project site, being carried out with police protection despite the assurance of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy that he would honour the ''instructions'' of the seer that no work should be commenced before setting up an Expert Committee to go into the pros and cons of the project.

The seer said the Government should not impose the project if the Expert Committee report was against it. In case the report favoured the project, even then it should be implemented only after convincing the people and clearing their apprehensions about the impact of fly ash, impact of chemicals used for desalination of sea water and the discharge into the sea.

The pontiff said the Chief Minister had indirectly sent a message to him that he would convene a meeting of all leaders concerned after the December four Chamundeshwari byelection and the work taken up now was only preliminary work. ''Let us wait till then.'' He warned that if the Government and the company continue with the project with money and administrative powers, they would be directly held responsible for any future untoward happenings.

People's strength was greater than money or muscle power. ''We are ready both for talks and the fight,'' he declared.

Calling all political parties to join the struggle, he announced that he would also support the struggle against the Tadadi thermal power project in Uttar Kannada district.

Udupi BJP MP Manorama Madhwaraj, who was in the forefront of the struggle with the Nandikur Jana Jagriti Samiti and Nagarika Seva Trust of Guruvayanakere, sought the immediate transfer of the Udupi Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police, alleging that both of them were giving wrong information to the Government about the agitation and agitators.


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