Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hanakon thermal power plant project shelved

Hanakon thermal power plant project shelved
The Hindu - Correspondent
  • Activists opposing the project and IBTPL hold press meet
  • Ind-Bharath Thermal Power Company Limited was supposed to set up the thermal power plant
  • Company and protesting activists to withdraw cases each had filed against the other
Karwar: Ind-Bharath Thermal Power Company Limited (IBTPL) which had proposed to set up a thermal power plant at Hanakon near Karwar has decided not to go ahead with the project following opposition from environment activists and the general public.
A joint press conference was held here on Friday by Executive Director of the IBTPL Vasurao and members of the Anti-Thermal Power Plant Samiti Satish Sail, Kishore Desai and K.D. Naik.
The decision of IBTPL and the samiti has come as a surprise to many. The samiti members hurriedly called the press conference and declared that they would withdraw all the criminal cases of forgery and cheating that they had filed against IBTPL. Mr. Vasurao said that IBTPL would withdraw the cases filed against the samiti members. The samiti leaders who had been accusing the company all along for using money and muscle power to curb the agitation against the proposed thermal power plant, lauded IBTPL for deciding against the project. Samiti leaders and Mr. Vasurao said that there was a misunderstanding and communication gap because of which there were problems.
Blaming the forest officials for providing the wrong information about the distance between Hanakon and Curtogoa Wildlife Sanctuary, Mr. Vasurao said that IBTPL relied on their report and went ahead with the project. He said IBTPL had no role in the atrocity committed by the police on the agitators on July 30, and said the guilty should be punished.
Asked whether it was a “give and take arrangement” between IBTPL and the few leaders of the samiti, Mr. Vasurao said there was nothing murky in the whole deal and it was done purely in the interests of the people of Karwar. The samiti offered full cooperation to IBTPL if it sets up an “eco-friendly” industry.
Mr. Vasurao said IBTPL would chalk out an alternative plan to develop the land it had purchased in Hanakon. Later, the samiti leaders and Mr. Vasurao went to the Deputy Commissioner’s office and signed an agreement with regard to the decision not to set up thermal power plant in Hanakon.
The sudden decision of some of the leaders of the samiti has created resentment among the other leaders who stayed away from the press meet. Some leaders who were imprisoned in Bellary Central Jail during the agitation were found arguing outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office with those who signed the pact with IBTPL without informing others.
A committee member, seeking anonymity, said that some leaders who were out to take the political mileage out of the agitation had called the press meet without knowledge of others. He said only the leaders from the Congress party were present and other leaders belonging to different other parties were informed in the last minute deliberately so as to keep them away from the press conference.
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