Mangalore; August 30: Mangalore MP Nalin Kumar Kateel on Thursday urged the centre to send a team to understand the concerns and views of the local people before taking any decision on setting up an ultra mega power plant at Niddodi. The proposed 4,000-MW UMPP at Niddodi, some 35-kms from the headquarters of this coastal district has evoked strong protests among the locals who are opposed to its setting up – tooth and nail.
Raising the matter under rule 377 in the Lok Sabha, Nalin drew the attention of the Union Government through the Speaker Towards protest of people of coastal Karnataka against the proposed UMPP at Niddodi near Mangalore. The Centre has proposed to set up a coal based UMPP in the coastal district of Karnataka. But local communities have expressed concerned over the likely adverse impact on the livelihood of farmers, he said.
The UMPP will also have environmental and ecological consequences at Niddodi and its surrounding area for they are fertile land and people of Niddodi are dependant entirely on agriculture. Setting up an UMPP would lead to their eviction from their own agriculture land and will have an adverse impact on their livelihood. There are earlier instances where the setting up of UPCL in Udupi has affected the livelihood if large number of locals.
People of Niddodi and the entire coastal region are demonstrating against the setting up of UMPP, Nalin said urging the Union Government to understand the concerns expressed by people and respect their sentiments. He said the centre must take immediate steps to stop the proposed UMPP. The Coastal district is surrounded by the Western Ghats. The proposed UMPP will have an adverse impact on bio-diversity of Western Ghats also.
Incidentally, a delegation from Mathrubhoomi Samrakshana Samiti that is spearheading the movement against the Niddodi UMPP had met the Union Minister of State for Power (Independent Charge) Jyotiraditya Scindia along with Nalin inthe national capital recently. The minister had assured the delegation that the centre will not press for the project if the people did not want it, but had sought this in writing from the state government.