Mon, 10 Dec, 2007
News Today Bureau
PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss on Monday charged there were undeclared power cuts in Tamilnadu engulfing parts of the state in darkness.
Further, he urged the Chief Minister to pull up the Electricity Minister Arcot N Veerasami for not owning responsibility for the power crisis.
Talking to media persons in Cuddalore, the PMK chief said the TNEB has become dysfunctional throughout the State resulting in power shortage.
He expressed strong opposition to the acquisition of cultivable land near Thyagavalli village of Cuddalore district for setting up a private power station and said the government should abandon the project now itself.
‘Alternative land could be acquired in places like Cheyyur, Marakkanam and Jayakondam for setting up power plants. The Cuddalore port could also be utilised for the construction of power units in these places for which PMK would extend full cooperation,’ he explained.
With growing pollution of the environment due to the existence of industrial clusters at the SIPCOT complex in Cuddalore, the people living there had to face health problems. Hence, if a new thermal plant was set up in the town, the local population have no choice but to vacate their houses for good, Ramadoss explained to stress that PMK would oppose the move to set up the power plant in Cuddalore.
‘However, we will extend full support if the thermal power units came up in the alternative places we have suggested,’ he said.
The government’s desire to set up the power unit in Thyagavalli alone, despite opposition from the locals, ‘had created suspicion if there are ulterior motives in the private project,’ he said.
Lack of vision
At a time when there is industrial growth in Tamilnadu, the undeclared power cuts had become dampener for setting up new enterprises in the State.
‘We should have a long-term vision to generate power for the requirements of emerging industrial units and execute the same. But lack of such plans had resulted in power crisis in Tamilnadu and Electricity Minister Arcot Veerasami should be held responsible for his failure in the power front,’ Ramadoss said.
PMK and the locals from the Thyagavalli village staged a huge rally demanding the government to abandon the project to set up the Rs 6,000 crore thermal power unit with a capacity of 1,320 MW and stop forthwith the acquisition of cultivable land in that village. The rally started from Periyar statue at Anna bridge and ended in front of the Collectorate office in Cuddalore.
Ramadoss also led a protest demonstration in front of the Collectorate in which Chidambaram MP Ponnusamy, Panurti MLA Velmurugan, PMK deputy general secretary Shanmugam, District Panchayat chairperson Silambuchelvi and Panchayat Union chairperson Santhi Panjamuthu took part along with the party cadres.
Both in the rally and in the demonstration, people from the 18 villages, including Nochikuppam and Thyagavalli participated in large numbers to express opposition to the government’s plan to set up a thermal power unit in their locality.