26 November 2007
CUDDALORE: A public hearing on the proposed 1,320-MW Cuddalore Power Company (CPC), to be held at the District Development Council Hall here on Wednesday, is likely to be a controlled affair.
Earlier, the public hearing held a couple of months ago ended abruptly owing to protest by people of at least a dozen villages. They were likely to be displaced by the project and had become restive over the land acquisition move. They gheraoed Collector Rajendra Ratnoo and later blocked traffic on the CuddaloreChidambaram road. Therefore, to avert any such incidents, the authorities have instructed the villagers “to behave themselves during the next public hearing or face action.”
The villagers have been told not to mobilise people in large numbers and not bring vehicles such as tractor-trailers to the venue.
All participants should bring identity proof such as electors’ photo identity card or ration card. The villagers have been told to put their views in writing and deposit the statements in a box to be provided at the venue. According to M.Nizamudeen, executive secretary of Cuddalore District Consumer Protection Organisation, such an attempt to gag the villagers and others would defeat the very objective of a public hearing.