Udupi: Fishermen oppose power plant

The power plant will affect fisheries: NEERI

# Nearly 40 tonnes of fly ash would get released everyday
# 15 per cent of fly ash generated is used for other purposes

UDUPI: Mogaveera Mahajana Sangha, the Coastal Karnataka Country Boat Fishermen’s Federation and the Nandikur Janajagriti Samiti will hold a rally, at the Ajjarkad Grounds here on Tuesday protesting against the proposal to set up the 1,015 MW coal-based Nagarjuna Thermal Power Project in Udupi district.

Addressing presspersons on Monday, sangha president Pramod Madhwaraj said that leaders of all political parties, seers of various maths, and leaders of various fishermen organisations would participate in the rally. Nearly 30,000 fishermen from Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada districts would take part in the rally, he said.

National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) conducted a study on the impact of thermal power plants on environment in 1996, when Cogentrix was allowed to establish a coal-based thermal power project at Nandikur. NEERI had then made it clear that the establishment of such a plant would affect fisheries. Nagarjuna Power Corporation Ltd would use seawater in large quantities and discharge it back into the sea.

Although NPCL uses electro static precipitator facility to reduce the fly ash content to 98 per cent, nearly 40 tonnes of fly ash would still get released every day. To reduce sulphur dioxide emission, NPCL has said that it would use the flue gas desulphurisation facility, but this would not reduce the impact on the environment said NEERI. Coastal Karnataka Country Boat Fishermen’s Associations’ honorary president Upendra Hosabettu said that NPCL was silent about the reduction in discharge of nitrogen and other gases. According to him nearly 15 per cent of fly ash generated by coal-based power plants in the country is used for other purposes. But it is impossible to utilise all the fly ash generated.

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