Nagpur: Following announcement in State budget, Mahagenco has decided to set up two more 660 MW coal-based supercritical units at the Koradi Thermal Power Station (KTPS) even though the air pollution in the area is very high. With the setting of two units, the additional generation of power at KTPS will be 1320 megawatt. Two thermal plants having total capacity of 3740MW – Koradji and Khaparkhrda – are already functioning in the area. With worsening pollution problems, city’s environmentalists have come together and raising their voice.
In this respect, the city-based organisation – Vidarbha Connect or VCan – and many more organisations have come together to launch a public protest against the setting up of two more units at Koradi Thermal Power Station. The Vidarbha Connect addressed a press conference on Thursday and drew attention towards the problem of high air pollution and its implications. The President of VCan Mukesh Samarth said that according to study of US based NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administartion) monsoon is erratic where air pollution is very high. The rain pattern is hit hard. The effects of high air pollution could be experienced in Nagpur as rain is playing truant and creating a horde of problems. “To have rains pouring, it is necessary the temperature comes down. But the increasing heat in Nagpur wreaking havoc and resulting in deficient rain,” Samarth pointed out.
The press conference was also attended by Convener of Vidarbha Paryavaran Kruti Samiti Sudhir Paliwal, Vidarbha Connect’s Mukesh Samarth and Dinesh Naidu, Grren Planet Society’s Chandrapur President Suresh Chopne, Krishi Vigyan Arogya Sansthan’s Om Jajodiya, MSEDCL’s former Director A D Palamwar, Mahavidarbha Janjagaran’s Nitin Ronghe and a number of representatives of other organisations.
Stating that Vidarbha continues to bear the brunt of pollution from coal plants, the environmentalists demanded immediate cancellation of expansion of KTPS. “Vidarbha generates as much as 71% of the total power generated in Maharashtra but consumes only 11% of it. Though consumption of Pune division alone is more than consumption of 11 districts of Vidarbha, there is no power plant in Pune,” they lamented.
Convener of Vidarbha Paryavaran Kruti Samiti Sudhir Paliwal pointed out that there is no demand for power by distribution companies. “Many power plants have been shut down in the absence of demand for power. At a time when Vidarbha is facing acute shortage of water, massive quantity of water meant for irrigation is being diverted to power plants,” he stated.
They said, “The high temperatures, deficient rains, water shortage and other problems are all resulting from high air pollution in region. Despite being fully aware of coal power plants are major source in climate change, the state government is adding more woes by giving step-motherly treatment to Vidarbha and playing with lives of people here.”
The organisations have demanded cancellation of setting up of two more units at KTPS immediately and warned of agitational activities if the demand is not met by the State Government.