Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 31:
Better late than never, finally, Odisha government has woken up to the plight of its people residing in 27 villages of Lakhanpur block in Jharsuguda district who will be adversely affected by the smoke, dust and greenhouse gases from the upcoming 1600 MW Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) of the NTPC at Lara in neighbouring Chhattisgarh.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote a letter to Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Power and Renewable Energy drawing his attention to the issue.
“NTPC is setting up a 1600 (2×800) MW Super Thermal Power Project at Lara in Chhattisgarh which is about two kilometres from the border of Odisha. 27 villages of Kandeikela, Remata, Kanaktora, Charpali, Pithinda and Badimal GPs of Lakhanpur Block in Jharsuguda District will be adversely affected by the smoke, dust and greenhouse gases. Of these 27 villages, 6 villages are likely to be severely affected,” wrote Patnaik in his letter.
“It is learnt that public hearing regarding Environment Impact Assessment has been done in the villages to be affected by this project in Chhattisgarh, but no public hearing has been done in villages to be affected in Odisha,” Patnaik pointed out in the letter.
Patnaik said: “It is also learnt that CSR activities in nine villages in Chhattisgarh have also been started by NTPC. There will be serious impact on the environment, livelihood and health condition of the people of these 27 villages of Odisha when this project is commissioned,” the Chief Minister said.
Drawing attention of the Union Minister towards the growing discontentment among the locals at this side of the border Patnaik stated: “This issue has been agitated by the affected people and the MLA, Brajrajanagar, which needs to be appreciated.”
Patnaik requested the Union Power Minister to direct the NTPC authorities to address the genuine concerns of the project affected people of Odisha.