Green group asks Ramesh not challenge power plant quash order

July 24th, 2010 - 2:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, July 24 (IANS) An environmental group fighting against a proposed thermal power project in the wetlands of Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh has urged the environment and forests ministry not to challenge quashing of environmental clearance to it.
Forum for Better Visakha has appealed to Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh not to contest the order by the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) quashing environmental clearance for the project at Sompeta.

NEAA July 15 quashed the clearance given by the ministry on the ground that information on existence of three irrigation projects and wetlands was suppressed.

Two people were killed and several others were injured at Sompeta July 14 when police opened fire on people protesting against the proposed power project by the Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC).

The local fishermen and farming community is against the 2,640 MW project as it will endanger their traditional livelihood and destroy the ecology.

E.A.S. Sarma, convener, Forum for Better Visakha, in a letter to Ramesh said the visit by a team from the ministry two days ago raised more apprehensions than satisfaction for the local people who have vehemently opposed both these ill-conceived projects.

The team visited both Sompeta and Bhavanapadu, where a power project of East Coast Energy Pvt Ltd is coming up.

“We request you not to contest NEAA’s judgement on Sompeta in any higher court so that thousands of small farmers and fishing communities may feel reassured of retaining their livelihoods and spared from the pollution caused by the proposed power plant,” he said.

The forum also urged the minister to identify all the wetlands in Andhra Pradesh and take tangible steps to protect them, in line with NEAA’s judgement on Sompeta.

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