Thirty-five organisations and individuals have come together to oppose the proposed expansion of Koradi Thermal Power Station (KTPS), located near the city.
At a press conference on Thursday, protesters voiced their opposition to the two new units – 660 MW each – that are set to come up at KTPS, which currently produces 2,400 MW power. Pollution caused by KTPS, they said, will sound a death knell for the city.
“This is for the first time that so many organisations and individuals have come together to oppose the new units,” Sudhir Paliwal, convenor of Vidarbha Environmental Action Group (VEAG), said.
“There is no demand for power in the state and already many thermal power plants are shutting down. Moreover, Vidarbha is facing acute water shortage. In such situation, diverting water for power generation will add to Vidarbha farmers’ and citizens’ woes,” he added.
The activists said that Nagpur had been rated as one of the most polluted cities in India and new coal-fired power units will only further choke the city’s remaining clean air with pollutants. They also pointed out that Vidarbha produces 16,816 MW thermal power, but consumes only 1,700 MW. “Rest all goes to western Maharashtra. Pune division consumes more power than entire Vidarbha, but there is no power plant in Pune,” they claimed.
The protesters also alleged that Nagpur was becoming the “cancer capital” due to rising pollution levels, and thermal power units were mainly responsible for the same. “Hence, no new units must be allowed to come up in the city,” they said.
The organisations to come forward against the new units include Vidarbha Connect, Jan Manch and Vidarbha Rajya Andolan Samiti. The organisers have now decided to hold a silent march and other protests in near future.
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