8 February 2010
CUDDALORE: In a public hearing held on Friday, a demand was made to employ local people in the proposed 3,600-MW private power project to be set up in Pudhukuppam coastal village in Parangipettai block. Collector P. Seetharaman and officials of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board participated.
A spokesperson of the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL & FS the promoting company), M.S. Srinivas, said that the project, comprising a thermal plant, captive port and desalination plant, would come up on 700 acres of land.
Modern machinery would be deployed for its execution and high quality coal imported from Indonesia to comply with pollution control norms. Once ready, the project would create job opportunities for 5,000 jobs, he said.
Vice-Chairman of the Silambimangalam panchayat union, Chandrakala, said that besides providing jobs to local people, the ecology of the coastal village should also be protected.
Ramalingam of Annampettai said that the project should accord priority to the local people in jobs. Chezhiyan of Killai and M.S. Kathavarayasamy of Velangipattu said that the proposed plant would affect mangroves and pose health problems to residents.
Subash of Cuddalore said that the existence of the atomic power plant at Kalpakkam had not contributed much for the economic uplift of fishermen there.
The Collector said that their views would be conveyed to the authorities concerned.
Meanwhile, environmentalists had sent a representation to the Union Ministry of Forests and Environment alleging that the environment impact assessment (EIA) was done without paying attention to vital issues which would have a bearing on environment and people. Therefore, it must be rejected.
The representation was jointly sent by Sweta Narayan of Community Environmental Monitoring, T. Arulselvan of the SIPCOT Area Environmental Monitoring, and, M. Nizamudeen of the Consumer Federation-Tamil Nadu.
They pointed out that Cuddalore had a concentration of highly polluting industries and, therefore, as per the Ministry notifications, no new industries should be started in the polluted clusters till August 2010.
Therefore they sought a clarification whether “deemed clearance” could be accorded to the proposal after the mandatory 120 days of the public hearing.